An alarming 67% of adults in the United States have not prepared a will. This lack of estate planning could lead to significant complications and financial burdens for their families after their death. The reasons for this negligence vary – with 42% admitting to procrastination, 35% feeling their assets are not substantial enough to warrant a will, and 14% believing that the process of estate planning is too costly.
When a person passes away without a will, their property and assets must undergo the probate process. This involves the court system and can be lengthy, expensive, and stressful. Probate fees can include court costs, attorney charges, filing expenses, and accounting fees. Moreover, if there are missing documents, records, or conflicts among potential beneficiaries, the process becomes even more convoluted and emotionally draining.
The importance of having a will cannot be overstated. It ensures that your assets are distributed according to your specific wishes upon your death. Without it, your family could face a complex legal process and potential disputes over your estate.
Despite the perceived expense, drafting a will and planning your estate can save your family from future financial strain and emotional turmoil. To assist with this process, there are numerous resources available for those who need help with estate planning.
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Originally published November 15, 2023