You may be wondering if you should have a will written up. It could be that you are young and haven't gotten many assets yet, or you may be older and don't own a home or have much money. While you might think it's not really necessary to have a will if you feel you don't have any real assets, wills can help protect your wishes in distributing what you do own.
Here are some reasons why wills are important to have even if you don't have any assets.
State Law Will Govern What Happens To Your Assets
If you pass away without a will, your state law will govern what happens to the property you own. This will include any property like houses or condos, cars, and even money you have in the bank. It's possible that if you are married, your spouse will inherit your assets, but this isn't always a given. The courts can decide to divide up what assets you have among your relatives and any children you have.
The state could also take a portion of what you own to help pay for administration costs for your estate and potentially to pay for your funeral and burial costs if you don't already have pre-paid arrangements. The remaining money could be distributed to your spouse, children, or another living relative, even those you may not want to give anything to.
Guardian For Minor Children
If you are a single parent who has minor children, wills are important so you can determine who you would like to care for those children if you pass away. Courts will typically abide by your wishes unless there is a legal problem with who you appointed or they are unable to care for your children. If you don't have a will and your children are minors, the courts will decide who will be appointed guardian.
This means that if you wanted one of their grandparents to care for them but there is no will, the grandparents won't automatically get guardianship. Your children may be raised by your aunt or uncle, a sibling, or even potentially placed in foster care if the court deems it's what's best for them.
Wills can help avoid your children being placed in a home where you didn't want them to be and instead placed with whom you prefer.
To Give Your Assets To Your Common-Law Spouse
If you have a common-law spouse and you would like for them to inherit any money or other assets you leave behind, you will need to create a will. Common-law spouses are not automatically entitled to inherit their partner's assets unless there is a will present.
Courts usually will grant anything you own of value to your closest relatives or any other relatives if your parents have passed and you don't have siblings or children. Wills can ensure that your common-law spouse will inherit what you would like for them to have. For more information, contact a local law office, like Wright Law Offices, PLLC.
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