Like many Americans, you may be putting off making a will until you reach old age. You may also think that a will is unnecessary because you are not wealthy.
If you die without a will, your assets may distribute to family members according to Louisiana’s laws for order of inheritance. However, this may leave you very little control over providing for a surviving spouse, children or others you want to benefit from your property after death. Additionally, a will can include other types of instructions for providing for those you leave behind.
Gifting assets to non-family beneficiaries
Without a will, your assets may pass automatically to your closest surviving relatives. However, you may want to share part of your estate with other individuals or organizations as well. A will allows you to name a friend, domestic partner, charitable organization or other parties as beneficiaries of your estate.
Making other provisions for your estate and family
In addition to giving specific instructions about who receives what assets after your death, a will can accomplish several things:
- Specify an executor you trust to settle your estate and distribute assets
- Name a guardian, or tutor, to care for your minor children
- Create a special needs, spendthrift or another type of trust for children or grandchildren
There are many do-it-yourself websites for making wills. However, you should keep in mind that a DIY document may not hold up in court. Before entrusting your family’s future to a will, it is essential to make sure the document is legally sound and works as you intend.