Should the State Make Our Will? Better Not!

Should the State Make Our Will?Jul 09, 2013: Astounding Fact - It may seem unbelievable but the state in which we reside has made provisions for the distribution of our assets in the event we have not exercised our privilege of getting our own will drawn.

Why do I need a Will?

Failure to make a will can result in a legacy of heart break, family dissension, injustice and a substantial reduction of our assets because of unnecessarily high costs.

Own Will vs State Will

The state assumes everyone's objectives are exactly the same. Do we want our assets to be distributed exactly the same way as my neighbor, the grocer or the librarian? Obviously our assets, our beneficiaries and our wishes are not necessarily the same as those of others.

Main Differences
  • My Spouse Does Not Get It - In most cases it is desirable that our spouses receive everything so that the children are taken care of. But the state's generic will may only provide a fraction of the assets to the surviving spouse and the rest may go the children. Further the state will control the assets of minor children till they reach legal age. The surviving spouse may need to seek permission to use any of the children's funds to spend for the children themselves! In some cases apart from the surviving spouse, other relatives may also be entitled to a portion of the estate.
  • Who takes care of our Children - In the event both parents are killed in an accident a court may select a guardian of the assets and/or children whom neither parents would have wanted.
  • Oh Those Special Items - The State does not care about sentimental value. Would we like to give Dad's stamp collection to an irresponsible nephew or Mom's china to a careless niece? Unless heirs can reach an acceptable agreement the state will distribute the items in its own way. That in effect may leave a lasting legacy of personal bitterness among family members. Our will may prevent this.
  • No Room for Charity - There may be records to confirm consistent annual gifts to our favorite charities yet the state will not provide for any charitable bequest. Absolutely nothing.

Action Plan

Action PlanOf course all this bitterness, confusion and waste of energy can be stopped by simply having our own will which will revoke the state written will. A properly executed will guarantees the fulfillment of our wishes.

Image Source(s): iStockPhoto

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