Are you single, married, or in a domestic partnership? Do you have children or other relatives for whom you provide or would like to provide financial or other types of support? Are there organizations that you’re currently involved in and would like to continue providing for them?
If you answered, “yes,” to any of the above, you may already have an updated will. If not, are in the process of planning your estate?
There are 3 major reasons why individuals engage in estate planning:
- To avoid probate: 59%
- To minimize discord among beneficiaries: 57%
- To protect children from mismanaging their inheritances: 39%
A recent survey found that 57% of its participants didn’t have a will. When asked why, the respondents indicated that they “‘just haven’t gotten around to making one.'” It’s interesting to note that in some cases, a basic will can often be drawn up in just 10 to 15 minutes. The length of time it takes to draw up a more involved will, however, can take longer.
Currently, 72% of senior citizens in the United States have a living will. According to Business Insider, the most important legal documents that everyone should have are a will, a living will, and a durable power of attorney. These documents are intended to protect you and your beneficiaries in a variety of situations.
If you haven’t appointed a trustee for your estate, it will be presented to the court during probate. The fee for this will usually comprise 2% to 3% of your estate.
In the case of complicated wills, probate may last for 2 years or longer. It’s important to note that even a simple will can be in probate for a minimum of 6 months. Given this, it makes sense to appoint a trustee to handle your estate.
For individuals that are married or are in domestic partnerships, it’s important to ensure that their estates are in good order. If married persons or those in domestic partnerships also have children, it is even more important that legal help is obtained in order to create a last will and testament.