According to a 2016 Gallup poll, only 44% of Americans have written a Will. Other studies put the figure closer to 30%. However, either way a majority of people have not prepared for their family’s future. Will you be one of the 56% of Americans who don’t have a Will or one of the 44% who do? Think about the following cold, hard facts.
Most of us don’t find the topic very pleasant. However, the fact is that everyone passes away, leaving behind an estate. If you have planned for this, your family may have an easier time honoring your final wishes. First, though, they have to know what those wishes are. You can tell them through your Will.
It’s hard on your family.
Failing to leave behind a solid estate plan makes it very difficult for your family. Your estate assets, including real estate and personal property, still need to go to someone. But your loved ones will not have the guidance of estate planning documents that contain your final wishes – unless you leave a Will.
Wills do more than distribute property. If you have young children, you can name a guardian to care for your children. You can also set up testamentary trusts or make specific bequests. Finally, you will name a personal representative to move your estate through the probate process.
Without a Will, your property will be distributed according to Alabama intestacy laws. And these laws don’t care that you wanted to give your 1965 Mustang to your brother.
It’s really not that hard to do.
Review your assets and think about who you want to have them when you’re gone. Gather financial data, as well as contact information for executors, agents, beneficiaries, and anyone else who might have an interest in your estate.
Schedule an appointment with an experienced Alabama estate planning attorney. Preparing an estate plan may take only a few hours of your time.
Don’t Have a Will? Become a 44%-er.
An estate plan may give your loved ones the peace of mind they need. Today is a great day to start your estate planning.
Attorney Bruce Adams helps clients just like you develop estate plans that meet their needs. For a free consultation with an experienced Alabama attorney, contact us at 256-237-3339. Located in Anniston, we serve clients in Calhoun, Etowah, and St. Clair Counties.