There is another all-important issue that a will puts to rest… Who is the best person to care for your children if you and/or your spouse dies? Apart from specifying asset distribution, a will is critical in naming guardianship for ones children. By establishing a guardian in your will, you can make sure that your children are cared for in the best manner possible during a time, no doubt, that will be extremely difficult for them. A will is necessary to establish the custody arrangements you desire so that the court does not have to get involved if there is a dispute, or worst case, does not decide with whom and where your children will live. Establishing a trust is also a could option to consider here.
Additionally, without a will..
the proceeds from your estate will be distributed by the probate court according to “Descent and Distribution” laws. Next of kin succession usually proceeds as follows: spouse, children, parents, siblings, and cousins. If no next of kin can be found, the proceeds of the estate usually goes to the government. Only by establishing a will can you have complete discretion as to what will happen when you die. If you want all or part of your estate to go to a charity or non profit organization, or to someone who is not a relative, a will is also necessary to insure that your wishes will be followed.
When you have an experienced attorney, like Sean Tanko, draft your will, it’s also important to make sure your beneficiary designations on financial accounts, insurance policies, and other assets are up to date and reflect your wishes. Otherwise, if you marry a second time, for example, and do not update the primary beneficiary on your retirement plan at work, your first husband or wife will receive those assets at your death even if your will states otherwise.