Did you know that only 40% of American adults have a will? Of those aged 18-36, 78% don't have a will, and 64% of those aged 37-52 don't have a will either. Older Americans, those aged 72 and older, are the most likely demographic to have a will.
Planning for the end of life is not fun and can be an extremely overwhelming process. However, tomorrow is not promised.
The best thing you can do for those that love you is have a will. What are the main reasons to have a will in Pennsylvania? Keep reading to learn four of them.
1. Explains How Your Estate Will Be Distributed
You need a will in Pennsylvania to decide how your estate will be distributed. Without a will upon your death, you won't have any guarantee that your desires get carried out.
Having a will can minimize family fights about who gets what from your estate. A will also allows you to minimize estate taxes. What you give away to charity or family members will reduce the value of your estate during tax season.
You can also disinherit individuals who might otherwise inherit your estate by having a will. Without a will, your estate could end up in the wrong hands.
For example, without a will, your estate might be given to an ex-spouse that you had a bitter divorce with or a parent that was absent throughout your life.
Pennsylvania estate lawyers can help you with the estate planning process.
2. Protects Your Minor Children
Once you decide who should take care of your minor children, it will be stated in your will. When you don't have a will, the courts will decide among family members or a state-appointed guardian.
It's never too early to contact an estate planning attorney if you have minor children. You'll be able to appoint the person you want to raise them and make sure it is not someone you don't trust.
3. Speeds Up the Probate Process
All estates have to go through the probate process whether there is a will or not. However, having a will can speed up the probate process because the courts will already know how you want your estate to get divided.
Probate courts administer your estate, but dying without an estate is known as dying "intestate". In this case, the court decides how to divide the estate without your input or wishes which causes long and unnecessary delays.
4. You Can Make Changes
While you are alive, you can continue to edit or change your will when circumstances start to change. Deaths, births, divorces, and other life changes might create a situation where changing your will is necessary.
Do You Need a Will in Pennsylvania?
There are a lot more reasons as to why you need a will in Pennsylvania, but many fail to have one because of how overwhelming the process can be.
Knowing state laws is key, but you don't have to be an expert to create a will. However, hiring an estate planning attorney is always recommended. These professionals can create a legal document that outlines all of your wishes.
To start the process of creating your will today, contact us for help.