On March 26, 2013

According to research from ICM and Foresters Friendly Society, an alarming number of Americans do not have wills. According to the data, 61 percent of the nation does not have a will, meaning that when they die, they won’t control over how their assets are divided. While many individuals tend to avoid estate planning because they do not want to think about their own death, failing to have a will can cause numerous problems for their heirs.

When an individual dies without a will, it is not uncommon for the family to end up in probate fighting over their assets. Further, people do not always intend for their family to be the beneficiaries when they pass on. When someone is in a relationship but not married, if they do not have a will, their money will not go to their significant other.

More troubling data shows that 77 percent of parents with children under the age of five do not have a will. Many parents who do have wills have neglected to update their will following their children’s birth. While assets generally go to children, without a will, it is up to the state to determine who will care for the children and manage their assets.

Consulting a Colorado estate planning lawyer could be beneficial for individuals concerned about how their assets will be dispersed following their passing. A lawyer may be able to help people set up trusts that give their heirs money over time and possibly even reduce the amount of taxes owed by someone’s estate.

Source: Money Observer, “Bequeath your wealth, not your problems,” Penny Lovell, March 13, 2013

Categories: Estate Planning

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