THE SAVAGE TRUTH ON WILLS AND ESTATES
It Pays to Plan While You Can
It’s the one subject people absolutely hate to talk about or think about. It’s the one subject guaranteed to cause an argument or stop a conversation: What would happen if you suddenly died tomorrow? (See, you really wanted to skip this chapter!)
But like all other distasteful tasks, once you’ve made an estate plan—a simple will or living trust—you’ll feel a whole lot better when it’s done. You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of and that the government will not be in charge of your assets. And the Savage Truth is that the entire process is easier and less expensive than you think.
If You Don’t Have an Estate Plan, the State Will
Consider this: You’re a young couple with no children and have put all your assets in joint name. On the way home from a party, there’s a terrible accident. You die at the scene of the crash; your spouse dies a week later in the hospital. No will. You died first, so your assets pass to your spouse. When your spouse dies, everything goes to your mother-in-law!
If you die without any plan—intestate—state law will determine who gets your assets, who will raise your children, and even whether your pet will be given to a friend or an animal shelter.
Everyone Needs an Estate Plan
An estate plan is not only for those who have a sizeable estate. Your estate is everything you own. It includes your house or condo, mutual funds, savings accounts, ...