Creating a will is a vital thing to do, no matter how old you are. Death is something that everyone experiences, but it is not something you can predict. If you die unexpectedly without a will, your family might experience some major struggles. Not only will they mourn your loss, but they will also have to try to settle your estate. Settling an estate is not a simple task without a will, and here are five issues your family might experience if you die without one.
1. They Will Not Know Your Wishes
You might not think you need a will, but you do. Creating a will provides the opportunity to tell your family your wishes. For example, do you want your family to bury your body or cremate it? Do you have specific desires about where they bury you or spread your ashes? If you have specific wishes about a funeral service, you must write them down in your will. Without documenting these things in a legal will, your family will have to guess. Hopefully, they will guess right, but you never know.
2. They Might Need to Go to Probate
The second issue your family might encounter if you die without a will is probate court. Probate court is something that many families go through after a loved one dies, only because they have to use it. If you own a lot of assets and die without a will, your family must go to probate court for several reasons. The downside to this is that it takes longer to settle an estate when a family must use probate. Going to probate also has many other disadvantages to a family, and you can prevent these by creating a will before you die.
3. It Will Cost More Money
Your family will also end up spending more money settling your estate if you do not have a will. Probate court is not free, and your family will need a lawyer to go through it. The legal fees might be costly for your family, you could avoid these costs by having a will.
4. Your Kids Might Not Have Protection
If you have minor children, then you need a will, as you can write instructions in it regarding your kids. You can name someone in your life that you trust as the caregiver you want your children to have if you die. If you die while your kids are under 18 years old, this person becomes their legal guardian. You can also set up funds that the guardian can use to support your children if this need arises. Protecting your kids is an integral part of a will. Without a will, the state decides where they go and who cares for them.
5. Your Family Might Lose Assets
The other thing to consider is the complexity of settling an estate without a will. In many cases, families are forced to sell a person's things to pay the legal fees for settling the estate. They might also have to sell things to pay your debts. Without a will, you create many problems for your family that you could avoid. If you want to prevent these issues from arising after your death, create a will. It is not hard to do, and it is not an expensive thing to do.
Dying without a will is never a good thing. It will create problems for your family, and it might result in property division that goes against your wishes. If you need help creating a will or other estate tools, talk to an estates and trusts attorney today.