If you have not created your will yet, now is the time

This time of year, you can be easily reminded just how much you love your family and friends. One way you can show each of them just how much you care for them is by ensuring you have your estate planning in order with a last will and testament.

You may not think that planning for a time when you are no longer around is really showing your family love, but what happens if you have an untimely demise and you do not have any of your wishes documented? Preparing your family for a time when you are no longer around is one of the most responsible acts you can do.

What if you die without a will?

If you die without a valid will in place, your property will be distributed after going through a process called intestate succession. Intestacy laws are a way to properly reflect what the person who died would've wanted to have happen to their property. In Arizona, the summary of intestacy succession would start with a spouse, then children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, parents and siblings and son on.

The problem with your property going through instate succession is that you do not have any control of what happens to your property. The bottom line is, if you fail to prepare a will, you are leaving someone else to make your final wishes and decisions for you.

Why you should create a will

  • Appoint a guardian for your children - If anyone should choose who to take care of your children if you are no longer around, it should be you. By choosing a guardian in your will, you will ensure that a trusted person is in charge of looking after your kids.
  • Deciding who receive your assets - You may have accumulated a lot of personal possessions and maybe even a substantial nest egg. These items may easily just get passed down, but if you have family heirlooms or antique items, you may have other plans for them. If you do not have your wishes listed in a valid will, these items may end up with people you may not have chosen.
  • Providing for a charity - A will allows you to distribute your property to other places beyond close friends and family. If there is a charity that has meant a great deal to you, giving back to that organization through a donation is best done through instructions in your will.
  • Protecting your business - Your will and even a living trust is the best way to pass a company that you may have worked so hard to build on to your heirs or to people you trust to take it over. Many businesses fail because ownership of the company does not stay within the family due to the lack of estate planning.
  • A will eases your families pain - Your family will be grieving your passing, especially if it was untimely. If you already have your will and full estate planning accomplished, it will be something they will not have to worry about. Otherwise, your close loved ones will have to make difficult decisions to determine what your wishes would have been. This is not always an easy thing to do in times of mourning.

If you have not yet started your estate planning documents, or at the very least your will, you should think about getting it accomplished as quickly as you can. The future is not guaranteed to any of us and preparing your will can be one of the greatest acts of love you can provide for your family.

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