Why You Need a Will
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
According to PNC Wealth Management, a third of adult Americans with financial assets of $500,000 or more do not have a will. Given the unpredictable nature of life, this seems like an unnecessary risk to take with your personal assets.
If you, as a Kentucky resident, were to die without having prepared a will in advance, many of your assets would be divided pursuant to the laws of the Commonwealth. For instance, the very basic concept of a spouse receiving all of your assets after your untimely death is not guaranteed. In fact, Kentucky, like a majority of states, does not make a surviving spouse the default recipient of assets and custodian of surviving children.
Therefore, absent a will, and specific instructions, a surviving spouse receives an equal share to any surviving children. This can be problematic if you have young children, as any share that passes to minor children must be held in trust until they reach the age of majority and cannot be used except in certain instances for the benefit of the minor children.
Failure to plan in advance can be even more frustrating for couples who are not married. Kentucky does not recognize the concept of a common law marriage, and despite the recent change in status for same sex couples, Kentucky law does not make provisions for distributions of an estate in these situations. Therefore, under these circumstances, the need for a will takes on a greater importance.
Essentially, if you want to decide who receives your assets and who cares for your children after you die, you need to set up a will. It’s a short, easy, inexpensive process, so don’t put it off any longer.
If you have questions about wills and trusts, give us a call to set up an initial consultation.