Not having a plan is a plan... it shows your loved ones how much you didn’t care
A recent Gallop Poll showed that 64% of people do not have an estate plan.
What happens when someone passes without a will?When someone passes with out a will that person is said to have died intestate. When a person dies intestate that means they have not created a plan for their loved ones. This means the law will control what happens to their assets, and if they have minor children with no other living parent, the court determines who will raise them.
You may ask what are the chances my spouse and I, or myself and my child’s other parent both pass? When you think of a situation such as a car accident, this possibility does not seem near as impossible. In fact, if one parent dies and the other is unsuitable or unavailable, the court will take into account the best interest of the child and a judge (NOT YOU!) will determine who will raise your children. By simply planning ahead and getting a will YOU can determine who will raise your children in the event that you cannot.
Moreover, when people pass with out a will often times family feuds and arguments erupt over who gets what. When there is no will often people end up fighting over assets. This is not pretty, nor fair for your loved ones who will already be grieving through a tough time. A will really is a gift for your loved ones.
Why trusts are not just for “rich” people?Often when people hear trusts they think of a trust as something for rich people. The reality is that trusts can and do benefit people with modest wealth. When done correctly a trust will allow the avoidance of probate. Probate is costly and can often be complicated.
A common type of trust is a revocable living trust. A revocable trust is created by a settlor who instructs and names a trustee (also often the settlor) to distribute property in a certain way and time to certain people (the beneficiaries). A revocable trust is a trust whereby provisions can be altered or canceled dependent on the settlor’s wishes during their lifetime. During the life of the trust, income earned is distributed to the settlor, and only after death does property transfer to the beneficiaries. Revocable trusts are able to be terminated at any time prior to the settlor’s death.