People frequently make the mistake of assuming that estate planning is only necessary for those with substantial assets. While an elaborate and complex estate plan may not be needed by all, a basic plan that starts with a Last Will and Testament is needed by everyone. Failing to execute at least a Last Will and Testament can have a number of unintended negative consequences. A Grand Forks estate planning attorney at German Law offers three reasons why a Will is necessary.
Last Will and Testament Basics
The primary purpose of a Will is to provide the framework for the division of estate assets upon the death of the estate owner. Though you may not think you have sufficient assets to worry about executing a Will, you may find that you do, indeed, have enough assets to warrant creating a Will.
Monetary Value Is Not Everything
Assets don’t have to be valuable in monetary turns to be valuable to you. For example, if you have a collection of dolls, trading cards, or old books that have been in your family for several generations they likely mean something to you. Their monetary value may, or may not, be great; however, their sentimental value is significant to you. Therefore, what happens to them when you die should also be important to you.
Dying Intestate Allows the State to Create Your Estate Plan
When someone dies without leaving behind a valid Last Will and Testament the person is said to have died “intestate”. Th North Dakota intestate succession laws then dictate how estate assets are handled during the probate of the estate. A spouse, children, or other close relatives will be entitled to your estate assets should you die intestate. Not only might these not be the people you want to receive your assets but the sale of those assets may be required to create an equal division as required by law.
Your Children Matter
Finally, if you have children, your Last Will and Testament is the only opportunity you have to express your wishes with regard to a guardian for those children should you and the children’s other parent be unable to care for them. Ultimately a court will have to appoint a guardian but your wishes, as reflected in your Last Will and Testament, will be given great deference by the court.
Contact a Grand Forks Estate Planning Attorney
Please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about estate planning, or you are ready to get started creating your Will, contact a Grand Forks estate planning attorney at German Law by calling 701-738-0060 to schedule an appointment.
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