Who Wants to Talk About Death?
Many individuals postpone writing a will for a variety of reasons. First, people understandably associate wills with death, and would prefer to avoid thoughts pertaining to it until necessary. Second, many may view writing a will as expensive, and deem the financial costs as outweighing the benefits of actually having a will. Third, it’s common for people to wait until they feel they have acquired enough assets to even “warrant” a will. Whether you identify with one, all, or none of these categories, it is essential for you to know the advantages of having a will and to be equipped to make the best decision for yourself and your family.
Willing On a Will
A will gives direction about to whom you wish to leave your property and assets. It ensures that those dearest to you, related or unrelated, will receive the belongings intended for them upon your death. Such an option is favorable for people who wish to leave their possessions to anyone outside of their descendants, such as partners, indirect descendants or friends.
Additionally, a will allows you to appoint a guardian over your minor children. This empowers you to choose an individual that you know would be best suited to assume the position of parental authority and care for your kids in a parenting style that you respect. Without a will, the State will appoint this person for you, which risks the possibility that someone you view as being incapable of stepping up to the plate will be chosen to care for your kids.
Along similar lines, people can create a testamentary trust within their will, which is used to hold money and/or property for another individual’s benefit. For example, a parent may have a minor child to whom they wish to leave a large sum of money. This parent, however, may not want the child to have access to that money until they reach a certain age. A testamentary trust allows the parent to leave money to their child while comforted in the knowledge that the child will only obtain access to it when he/she comes of a more mature age. Depending on the situation, a parent may wish to create the trust at the same time they create a will.
Another benefit to having a will is that you can choose a Personal Representative (Michigan’s version of the Executor). A Personal Representative is a person named to distribute an individual’s property and assets outlined in his/her will. Just like choosing a guardian, the ability to select a Personal Representative is advantageous because it provides you with an element of control over your estate and ensures that you are comfortable with this person handling all matters relating to your estate. Losing a loved one is one of the most trying of times. For most, dealing with grief is difficult enough, let alone scrambling with the bureaucracy of not knowing who should have what, who is in charge, and what happens next. Having a will can alleviate many of these logistical worries that come in the aftermath of a loved one’s passing.
We’re Here for You!
If you would like to create a Will or have any additional questions on the benefits of estate planning, please contact us at 248.399.3300 or Info@TheProbatePro.com. We are here and happy to help you!