As Americans, we all know that our Government and Courts have our best interests at heart and generally are always right when it comes to making decisions for us. So why not extend that same blind faith and trust to our Government and Courts to take care of our personal and real property after we die? It just makes sense that any assets that we accumulate during our lifetime should be passed along as our Government and Courts see fit regardless of any desires that we may have as to distribution. And in those instances where minor children involved, it would seem to the rational person that the opinion of an indifferent bureaucrat should be valued more than the wishes of the child’s now deceased parent and caregiver.
So, now that we are all in agreement that our Government and Courts know best, let me share some reasons why we should all die without a will:
- The Courts can do a much better job of deciding how to disburse our assets than we can;
- The Courts can choose a more caring guardian or trustee for minor children or grandchildren than we can;
- The Courts can choose a better personal representative to handle our estate during probate that we can;
- Our grieving loved ones will really enjoy paying additional legal fees and court costs than would otherwise be necessary; and
- The government will use our estate tax dollars more efficiently than our favorite charity.
Now, should anyone really believe any of the above, please stop reading now and let me tell you about a bridge I have for sale…..
The phrase “estate planning” may seem like something reserved only for the wealthy but it is actually a course of action. Actions whereby an individual takes into account various laws in order to gain maximum benefit while carrying out the individual’s own wishes for the disposition of their property upon death. There are no income or property valuation requirements to begin the estate planning process. Estate planning involves wills, trusts, incapacity planning (powers of attorney), probate and tax considerations.