Making a will and planning your estate effectively takes time and effort. Many people avoid engaging in the practice of planning their estate because they do not want to spend too much time thinking about the inevitability of death. The prospect of death is a morbid topic, but planning your estate does not need to be. In fact, planning your estate can be an uplifting activity because you can plan how your assets will benefit others in the future.
If you are considering whether you should take the time to create an estate plan, you should first understand what will happen if you do not plan your estate. Dying without an estate plan is known as dying intestate, and it has several possible negative consequences.
The probate process will be lengthy
The assets belonging to a person who has died intestate will need to go through the probate process. If a person has a will, this will also go through the probate process, but it will be a more efficient procedure as long as the will is not contested. However, the process of administering an estate without a will is a very lengthy one, and your heirs will have to wait a long time to receive their inheritance.
You may have unintended heirs
Your estate will be distributed according to your surviving relatives. If you do not have immediate relatives, distant cousins may inherit your estate. Alternatively, ex-spouses may have inheritance rights, even if you do not want them to benefit from your estate.
Creating an estate plan does not have to be a complex process, but it can be a positive experience where you can plan how your assets will benefit the people that you love.