It's not something we want to think about. But it happens to all of us. At some point, we pass on.
As a responsible person, you need to get serious about what happens with your money, physical assets, business and children after this event.
Research shows 64% of Americans die without a will. They leave their families and businesses caught in limbo and facing uncertainty.
But by properly planning for your estate, you can make sure your wishes are met and the people you care about are cared for.
Let's explore 3 reasons you need to hire a wills and estates lawyer.
Avoiding DIYers Woes
We get the question all the time. Can I write my own will? The answer is, "Yes. Yes, you can." But do you really want to?
While, we're huge fans of DIY projects, creating a will shouldn't be one of them. There are just too many pitfalls that could leave your family "out in the cold."
- The will must be error-free. Something as small as an extra squiggle or misspelling could be cause for a family member to contest the will's validity.
- The signature must be deemed valid. Sometimes people forget to sign it or the signature is later contested. While a notary is not required, not signing in the presence of someone else leaves room to dispute it.
- It must be updated. If something changes, people often forget to -- or put off -- updating the will. This could cause a disbursement to someone who should no longer be a recipient like an ex-husband, estranged child or charity you no longer favor. You could have willed your home to someone who passed before you.
- Amendments must be properly added. If an amendment is added incorrectly it could nullify all or an unintended portion of the will.
- Language must be clear and indisputable. You knew what you meant and thought your language was perfectly clear. But after "the event" someone says it means something different.
- The writer of the will needs to know how wills work. Thanks to campy comedies and misguided dramas, most people have lots of misconceptions about how wills work.
Writing a will correctly requires training and a complete understanding of the laws involved. For this reason, you need to hire a wills and estates lawyer
Protecting Your Loved Ones... sometimes from themselves
Estate planning ensures that your minor children -- or adult child with disabilities -- are cared for in the event of the loss of both parents. It assigns who is responsible for caring for the children so that they don't end up in foster care.
Additionally, in the case of a large estate, it makes sure assets and funds are properly set aside and maintained until your children come of age.
If you run a business, setting up a trust would allow a designated person to "jump into the driver's seat" without delay to avoid a collapse of what you've built for your family legacy.
Your son or daughter may be in a marriage that is rocky, giving you concern that the spouse will take the money and run. With proper estate planning, you can protect that child from his/her spouse.
A wills and estates lawyer will help you protect those you love.
Having an estate plan can save you a lot of money, allowing you to leave more to your beneficiaries.
- Reduce or eliminate estate taxes
- Avoid costly, often lengthy and very public probates
- Save you on professional fees for managing the estate, when not properly planned in advance.
Hire A Wills and Estates Lawyer
If you're in Western New York, we'd love to work with you to help you avoid those DIY woes, protect your loved ones and save money estate planning. Get in touch with us today.