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Why a will is the only way

On Behalf of | Oct 14, 2016 | Estate Planning, Firm News |

In late September, a Missouri family embarked on a much anticipated trip to the Magic Kingdom in Orlando. Their trip was as exciting as they had anticipated and after making one last stop at the beach, they began their journey home.

As they drove down I-4, their car was sideswiped by another vehicle, spun out of control and hit a tree, killing both parents instantly. The two children survived, but were in critical condition. Two children are now left without parents. What will become of their future?

Dying intestate

No expects a vacation to come to such a tragic end. We all realize we will die someday. But “someday” is so distant in the future, we often forget about it now. If we are parents, we need to take a good hard look at “someday” and make plans and decisions for our children in the event that “someday” arrives sooner, rather than later.

There is a legal term for someone dying without a will: Intestate. When a person dies intestate, all property, money, etc. is distributed according to the “right of representation.” What this means is that the law decides where the property goes–not you. A court case must be opened and all decisions are determined by a judge. That’s a dicey place to be.

Make sure your wishes are known

Did you really want your kids’ guardian to be your sister, or had you hoped your cousin would take them instead? Without a will naming guardians, your wishes will never be known. The life insurance policy you have may go to your mom, but what if you would rather it be used for your kids’ education? The court has no way of knowing what you prefer.

Dying without a will is a little like a game of chance–you have no idea what the outcome will be. Why not take the time to create plans? Taking care of the future now can help you enjoy many years to come, without the uncertainty of “someday.”

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