Millions and millions of Americans die each year without a will (or “intestate”) and leave their families with unintended consequences and sometimes major headaches.
While it’s an unfortunate fact that we’re all going to die some day, it’s also a fact that we prefer not to dwell on it if we can avoid it, and a will makes us do just that. A survey conducted in 2012 found that almost half of Americans are intestate.
Beyond people’s desire to avoid thinking about their own death, another unfortunate major road-block for many Americans is the cost of having a will prepared.
Lawyers often charge thousands of dollars for the creation of what is really a very simple document for most people. Now, if you last name is Rockefeller, Vanderbilt or Gates and you own millions of dollars worth of real estate, then you will need a very sophisticated will, but for most people that simply wish to designate a guardian for their children and bequeath a few assets (cars, house, collectibles) a living will and testament is a straightforward and simple document.
Should you die without a will, it is the State, and not you, that determines the distribution of your assets, excluding all except direct family: spouses, children, parents (if living) and so on. Examples of those who can be excluded if you don’t have a will include partners, fiancées, close friends and business associates. In addition, the State, and not you, will determine the division of your property amongst your heirs. Therefore, someone you may not want to receive any of your property could very well be a beneficiary.
Gowen Group Attorneys can draft a will for a client for a flat fee of $250 and with that we include a medical power of attorney so clients may provide medical directives to their families and the hospital should they ever become incapacitated. This fee includes any necessary consultation.
While many Americans may be fine without a will, those of us that have children, multiple heirs, or a non-family member that is close really should have one drafted.
If you are interested in having a will prepared or updating a current will, contact us and we will be happy to assist you and your family.