There are many reasons why you might not already have a will. However, the truth is that almost everyone should have a will, even those who do not think they have anything of value to pass on.
As pointed out by AARP, if you died from injuries sustained in an accident and your estate won a significant amount of money in the settlement, who would get the money? If you do not have a will, Kentucky's intestacy succession laws will determine who receives your assets, but these laws are not personalized to your wishes the way a will is.
In addition to determining where your assets go after you die, having a will can allow you to:
- Speed up the probate process
- Minimize estate taxes
- Disinherit someone who would otherwise inherit your estate
- Appoint someone to manage the last affairs of your estate
While there are many reasons to get started drafting your will, it is important to understand that it is a document that you should revisit throughout your life. As your circumstances change, you will want to update your will to reflect those changes. Some changes that might affect your will, include the birth or death of a loved one, the purchase or sale of property, or changes in state laws.
It is also important to remember that wills are only one tool in your estate planning toolbox. Depending on your situation, you may also want to consider some other tools, like trusts, powers of attorney and advance medical directives.
Intestacy succession laws will not be tailored to your wishes, but your will can be. This is why writing and regularly updating a will is your best chance to make your wishes known and protect your heirs from a long and expensive probate process.