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Four common excuses for not having a will (and why they don’t fly)

There are numerous reasons why people put off drafting a will and other legal documents that, together, create a comprehensive estate plan. If you’re one of those people, maybe one or more of these excuses will be familiar. We reveal the mistaken logic behind each, with hopes that those who have not prepared a will realize the foolishness of their ways and takes the necessary steps to put one in place.

I don’t have enough assets to require a will. If you have any amount of savings and you have loved ones in your life, you need a will. A basic estate plan not only includes a will, but also powers of attorney for financial matters and health care decisions. These may be necessary if you become incapacitated and cannot make these decisions yourself.

My assets will be treated the same whether I have a will or not. If you die without a will, it is known as dying intestate. Your assets will be treated according to the Florida laws of intestate succession. It’s true there are assets that do not pass through your will – those that you own with someone else in joint tenancy, for example. However, the assets that are subject to the state’s laws of intestate succession may not be treated according to your wishes. A will prevents that from occurring.

It’s too expensive to create an estate plan. The cost is not prohibitive when you weigh it against the cost of litigation that may occur if your heirs encounter estate administration disputes.

Estate plans are for people over 50. If you have minor children, an estate plan becomes critically important. Your estate plan will include directions on who you wish to be your child’s guardian. A guardian will have legal rights to care for your child if you and your child’s other parent die or become incapacitated and are unable to perform their parental duties.

Have you used one or more of these excuses? Creating a comprehensive estate plan is one of the most important ways to express how much you care about those you love.

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