By: Karen Gaffney
A recent Harris Interactive study found that 58% of Americans do not have written wills. It makes sense, as no one likes to contemplate the implications of their own demise. However, a death in the family is even more traumatic when your family is not protected by a binding last will and testament. By having a professionally drawn, self-proving will, you can make sure that your family is taken care of and that your estate is handled the way that you want. Some of the benefits of a will:
- A will allows you to designate where your estate goes. In the absence of a will, the state may make decisions regarding your estate based on Florida Inheritance Laws. Writing a will removes these arbitrary divisions, and lets you decide what happens with your assets.
- A will can help protect your family from excessive estate taxes. While most people believe that they are exempt from federal estate taxes, they may be subject to state estate taxes from Florida. By having a will in place, you can make sure that these expenses are handled, and that all possible tax reducing strategies are in place.
- A will allows you to specify guardians for your children. The make up of modern families has more variation than ever before. Non-married partners, grandparents and friends may all take a role. If you die without a will, the state may be the one deciding who will raise your kids.
- A will helps ensure that you are not subject to more than one state's laws. If you live in Florida part of the year, and part of the year somewhere else, each state could claim jurisdiction thereby removing your ability to choose where your assets will go if you die without a will.
- To give you and your loved ones peace of mind. Talking about the possibility of a loved one dying is not pleasant. However, when you let your family know that you have seen to their care in the event of your unexpected demise, it means they have one less reason to worry.