A Plan Today For Your Future
Why Creating a Will and Planning Your Estate is Imperative
Wills and Estate PlanningBarely four months after their wedding, on a cold December night in 2004, she received that dreadful call--the call that changed her life forever. Oh! She hoped it was a dream and prayed to awake from the horrible nightmare. Unfortunately, the accident that snuffed out his young life was a ghastly head-on collision that spared no second on the accident scene. "If I could do it over again," she said "estate planning would be top on my list," she muttered as tears trickled down her face.
According to a 2010 lawyer.com poll, about "65 percent of American Adults" die without a will. I find this fact mind boggling and appalling, especially in an elite and information-driven society like the United States. If stated in layman's terms, it simply means more than half of Americans die without a plan. Michael Baisden, a popular radio personality once said "those who fail to plan, plan to fail." This is a simple truth. If you die without a plan, your assumptions will fail you. In North Carolina, dying without a will empowers the state to dictate how your property will be distributed. Failure to execute a will, also creates an opportunity for the state to benefit from your estate under certain circumstances. Hence, the power of estate planning can never be underestimated.
That being said, while estate planning is not an exciting topic, it definitely deserves serious and meticulous consideration. Most people shy away from conversations dealing with death or incapacity, but while we fervently pray for long life and health, the truth remains--life is "uncertain" and the end of every life remains a mystery waiting to be unraveled.
Regardless of whether you have substantial assets or not, estate planning is right for you. The purpose of an estate plan is to give you peace of mind and closure in the event of unforeseen or sudden mishap. A famous quote by Benjamin Franklin states "nothing is certain, except death and taxes." Although this may sound absurd, it remains true to an extent --Death is the only guaranteed outcome of any human life, and so long as you live in the United States, you must pay taxes, even in your death.
Hence, the only thing standing between a long lasting family feud and peace of mind is a well planned estate. Alan Lakein, a well-know author once said "planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now." That sums up the importance of wills and estate planning; it gives you the authority to dictate how your property should be distributed in the event of death or incapacity.
Pursuant to North Carolina laws, when a person dies without a will, the decedent's estate, which is the dead person's property, will be distributed in accordance with the Intestate Succession Act (ISA). This can be problematic, because this process may distribute contrary to the decedent's true intentions. As such, estate planning remains the best option. N.C. Gen. Stat. ? 116B-2 states: "whenever the owner of any real or personal property situated or located within this State dies intestate[without a will]... without leaving surviving any heirs...to inherit said property...such real and personal property shall escheat.
Wills and Estate Planningescheat to the state.
Wills and Estate Planning are crucial to plannng for your family.