Is It Necessary to Have a Will?

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The answer to this question depends:

Do you have minor children or simply assets you want to give others?
Do you want to control what assets go to a particular individual?
Are you concerned there could be family conflict in how assets are divided, particularly if you have a larger net worth?

Read on to learn more about why you may need to have a will, especially if you have significant assets.

The Number of Dependents Can Determine Whether You Need a Will

In the event of your death, do you have a spouse, children, or other family members who need access to any or all of your assets? Many of us are focused on accumulating assets and investments but may never reflect on what happens to everything when we’re gone. If you intend for your assets to provide for your family, you’ll want to consider a will or estate plan.

Even if your investments are going to a business or organization, planning for how they will transfer is essential. Without clear direction, your assets could end up transferring in a manner not consistent with your wishes.

Why You May Want to Avoid Probate

A common assumption is that a will is always necessary. However, some financial products allow beneficiaries to be named.

Having a will eliminates any ambiguity about who inherits what. You also have it in your power to bar relatives who may be poor stewards of your money from inheriting.

Your beneficiaries may be able to receive their funds faster if you have a will. Financial assets without clearly named beneficiaries will require distribution according to state laws. Such decisions frequently lead to legal action, which may delay things further and can be costly to resolve.

Options for Transferring Assets on Death Without a Will

Depending on the circumstances and state laws, assets from married couples will pass from one spouse to the other without the need for a will or beneficiary designation. However, it is still important to keep beneficiary designations current. This is a simple way for assets to pass according to the specific wishes of a deceased owner.

For example, should an individual prefer to leave certain assets to some relatives but not others, naming the preferred relatives as beneficiaries for those assets is one possible solution.

When considering solutions for transferring assets, such a decision should always be made with the help of a professional who handles estates.

One of the most important parts of having a wealth management team is knowing you have access to professionals who can handle matters beyond your wealth creation and preservation. When using an advisor who provides innovative ways to accomplish your strategy, you’ll have greater assurance that your priorities and objectives are appropriately handled.

Is It Necessary to Have a Will: What Are Your Next Steps?

If you are ready to see how your investments may benefit your loved ones when you are gone, consulting with a financial planner is a good idea.

Prevail offers the planning you need to make the right decisions about your investment goals.

Contact us with your concerns regarding investing, including whether it is necessary to have a will.

Kerry Lawing


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