It’s a common question: “Do I need a will?” The simple answer is: Yes. Without a properly drawn will, the state in which you reside determines how your assets are distributed, including who will take care of your minor children. The only way for your wishes to be carried out after you are gone is through a properly executed will that is recognized as valid in your state.
You may be aware of the report that recently deceased “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin, didn’t leave a valid will. This means the state of Michigan’s testate laws will determine how her $80 million estate is distributed. In her case, the assets should be split equally between her children. But that will be after probate, estate administration and legal fees cut into the estate.
While you may not have assets at the level of Aretha, the costs of not planning could be just as great to your family if you don’t prepare a proper will. This doesn’t have to be the case. With proper planning, you can leave your assets to your family, friends and even charities EXACTLY as you wish. Watch this video as Aric Grooms, senior director of planned giving for the Arthritis Foundation, shares some helpful information on creating a will.
The Foundation’s planned giving department is well versed in estate and financial planning issues and we’re here to help you navigate these important matters. Contact us toll-free at 866-528-8687 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if we can help you in your specific situation. There’s no obligation.
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- Power of Attorney: The Importance of Being Prepared