Why does everyone need a will? Print E-mail

With a Will Without a Will
  • You can direct the distribution of your assets to those you care about most.
  • You can choose a personal representative (executor) who will oversee the distribution of your assets.
  • You avoid unnecessary expenses on the administration of the estate.
  • You can provide appropriately for minor children by naming a guardian or establishing a trust.
  • You can provide for family members, friends, or relatives according to their needs.
  • You can save considerable estate tax by utilizing proper estate planning techniques.
  • You can provide support for charitable causes that have had special meaning for you.
  • State statute determines the distribution of your property.
  • The court appoints an administrator for you.
  • Because the administrator is subject to constant court supervision, the cost of administering the estate may be greater.
  • You cannot provide for minors. The court will appoint a guardian for them, and the guardian will make decisions about a child’s care which you should have made.
  • Your heirs will benefit equally by class not necessarily in proportions you would have intended.
  • Your estate may lose thousands of dollars in needless taxes because you did not take advantage of the tax-saving opportunities available to you.
  • You cannot support a charitable cause.

Source: Excerpted with permission from The Complete Guide to Planned Giving by Debra Ashton, copyright 2002, Ashton Associates, Quincy, MA 02169 www.debraashton.com

 

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