Estate planning is not something that crosses most people’s minds on a regular basis, but it is definitely not something that you should ignore. Whether or not you have a complex estate with a lot of assets, you still need to plan for the future, and that typically involves setting up a will.
Without a will in place, much of your estate planning will be for naught when you pass away. Simple or complex, a will outlines your exact wishes and can reduce the potential headache for any beneficiaries.
1. Avoid a lengthy probate process
Whether or not you have a will in place, all Tennessee estates must go through a judicial proceeding called probate. This allows a court to determine the distribution of assets. Without a will, probate can end up being very expensive and can take a long time to resolve, taking away from any assets that the deceased planned on passing on to his or her beneficiaries. A will avoids this situation and outlines to the court the intended distribution of assets.
2. Prevent potential family contention
The death of a family member is an emotional time for all involved, and the additional stress of determining which beneficiary gets which asset can lead to intense family contention. You can avoid this by creating a will that clearly lays out which person inherits which asset.
3. Make your wishes known
If you want your belongings treated a certain way or want your assets given to a certain nonprofit, a will allows you to provide this guidance to the legal executor so that you fulfill your wishes.
By planning for the future with a will, your family will know exactly how you would like your estate handled.