Many people were surprised to find out that Prince did not have a will given the fortunes he amassed, but he is in good company. The American Bar Association estimates that 55% of all Americans do not have a will or estate plan in place. This likely boils down to procrastination. Nobody likes to confront their own mortality and it can be unpleasant to decide who will be in charge and who will benefit from your death. But at some point these issues must be confronted or state law will make the decision for you.
You also don’t need a multimillion dollar estate like Prince for a will or estate plan to benefit your heirs. In fact, you should really have a will or estate plan no matter how much you have in assets. Having a will or estate plan will make it easier on your heirs because it helps avoid a lengthy and expensive probate court proceeding. By having a will, you appoint your own executor or personal representative to administer your estate in the probate court proceeding and can eliminate procedural hurdles like requiring your personal representative to post a bond, which will likely make the process less time consuming and less costly to your heirs.
Having a will also allows you to disinherit individuals that would otherwise be entitled to inherit your estate under state law and helps eliminate legal fights between family members. It is extremely important for parents of minor children because it allows you to choose the person who will take care of your minor children if you die. It is not fun to think about these issues, but by having a will or estate plan in place, you can have some peace of mind that you are prepared, and will be able to make these important decisions yourself rather than leaving it up to the state.
To speak with an experienced will and estate planning attorney, contact Tentinger Law Firm at 952-953-3330 or use our quick contact form.