Why you should write a will

And what happens if you don’t

Life happens, and you can’t possibly be prepared for everything it will throw at you. One way to stay ahead of the curve is to write your will. A will’s purpose is to let your loved ones know what should happen to your possessions and property upon your death. This means one less thing for them to worry about on the checklist of what to do when someone dies and may help simplify the forms they need to complete after a person dies.
 
By writing a will, you can be one step closer to having your affairs in order and ensuring your end-of-life wishes are carried out.

What happens if you die without a will?

The list of what you can’t put in your will ranges from money for pets to care for someone with special needs, but many other items should be included. For example, you can specify what you’d like done with your financial assets and physical property that you will be leaving behind. If you don’t have a will prepared prior to the end of your life, you die “intestate” and most, if not all, of your assets are distributed based on the intestacy laws of the state you reside in. This means you don’t get to decide how your estate is split up.
 
Another issue with dying without a will is probate. Probate is a court-supervised process through which your property is distributed. If you die without a will, probate is called “intestate succession” and looks a little different, but the two processes have the same idea. While different state laws for intestate succession exist, in general, the court writes up a list of people who could possibly fill the role of executor of your estate. After that, assets are dispersed, though usually they can only be transferred to spouses, registered domestic partners, or blood relatives. Intestate succession — or probate — can be time-consuming and expensive, and some people would rather learn how to avoid probate all together. However, if you die without a will, then your loved ones wouldn’t be able to avoid probate.

Wills and advance funeral planning

Many families don’t read a will until after the funeral service has already been held, so funeral arrangements mentioned in the will become irrelevant. Instead, you can preplan — and pay for — your funeral with Preneed Funeral insurance.
 
Among the many reasons why advance funeral planning makes sense are decision-making and cost savings. With Preneed insurance, you will sit down with your funeral director and sort out everything that you want included in your funeral, and they will tally up the cost of the service. You can either pay the amount in one installment or through monthly premiums. Upon your death, the funds are used to pay the funeral home for your funeral. This insurance plan ensures that you will be remembered the way you want to be remembered, and it also saves you money in the long run.

Find a Preneed funeral home partner in your state

Writing your will all but guarantees that your possessions will be dispersed the way you want them to be and provides a strong foundation for end-of-life planning. By preplanning your funeral with Preneed Funeral insurance, though, you can help ease the burden on your loved ones even more.
 
This article may contain links to third party websites, but Great Western Insurance Company is neither responsible nor liable for their content, accuracy, or security. Review our Terms and Conditions to learn more.
 
Photo credit: iStock

 

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