Maybe a will is the furthest thing from your mind because you are young and healthy, or maybe you have avoided creating a will because you don’t want to think about death. In either case, not having a will only harms you and your family. To explain what we mean, we will demonstrate what happens when you do not have a will in place at the time of your death.
Because a will provides instructions and directs your assets to named beneficiaries, it is important to have one. If you haven’t created a will yet, here are the reasons you should consider creating a will:
- Without a will, the state will decide who your heirs are, what amounts they will receive, and how your property is distributed.
- Without a will, children under the age of 18 will be assigned to a guardian the state who decides.
- Without a will, your estate will have to go through probate, which is a long process for your heirs that can reduce the value of your estate.
What You Should Know About the Probate Process
The probate process is a legal process for estate administration after someone dies. Even though you won’t be around to see what happens in probate court, you should understand what goes on during probate and how the probate process works. Generally, probate helps pay the debts and taxes you owe and then transfers the remaining assets to your beneficiaries. However, if you do not have a will, your heirs will have to fight for any assets, even for something of yours that is sentimental to them.
During the probate process, your loved ones will have to inventory your property so that the value of your estate can be determined. This occurs because the probate court wants to make sure you have enough assets to pay your debts before assets are distributed to beneficiaries. This process can take a long time if a will and proper information isn’t left to a specified representative in a valid will.
In order to make this process easier on your heirs, you can already have a list of your assets and documents proving what your estate is worth, which is a benefit of estate planning in Georgia. Additionally, writing a will with the help of a skilled Peachtree City estate planning lawyer can make sure all of your assets are accounted for and that your loved ones will not have to deal with finances and headaches after you are gone. For help creating a will, call the Law Offices of Shane Smith at 770.487.8999 today.