There is no law saying you must create a will, but you should have one.
Thinking about not getting a will?
Your life and the lives of your loved ones will be much better with this basic estate planning document.
Perhaps we should review some common issues associated with not having a will, as outlined in a recent Nerd Wallet article titled “5 Hidden Dangers of Not Having a Will.”
If your heirs do not know how to manage money (or even their own lives), you do not want them receiving an inheritance—or at least not an outright inheritance.
Doing so would almost guarantee a squandered inheritance—whether on luxuries or addictions.
You could be driving a wedge further between your responsible and irresponsible heirs.
When money is involved, people flock like moths to the flame.
To protect your inheritance from the opportunists, you will want a will.
People can be incredibly dishonest when it comes to money.
If you have a large estate and have no will, people will try to provide you with one.
Putting your estate through fake will contests is not ideal.
Property in multiple states.
Having real estate in more than one state will be an added headache without a will—adding extra costs and time and even additional attorneys.
When you create a will, you get to name the executor.
If you have no will, the state may designate an attorney to serve in this role.
The process is often much slower—something your heirs will not like.
With an executor who is either a relative or connected to your family in some way, your estate likely will be settled more efficiently.
If you want to avoid these problems, meet with an experienced estate planning attorney to design an estate plan specifically for your needs.
So, how do you find an "experienced" estate planning attorney?
First, ask around. Friends, family and other professional advisors are trustworthy sources.
Second, conduct an "organic" search on "Google" for "estate planning" near you (e.g., "Estate Planning Anytown MoKan").
Third, either way, verify! Check out the education, experience, ratings and client reviews of any attorney before you contact him or her.
In fact, I use both of these services to thoroughly vett attorneys before referring members of our "client" family for legal help in other areas of law or for matters in jurisdictions outside Kansas or Missouri.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Nerd Wallet (August 3, 2016) “5 Hidden Dangers of Not Having a Will”