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  • Rich people aren’t the only ones who need a will. Without this legal document, your state’s laws will govern how your assets are distributed.
  • Families with young children can add a clause naming a guardian in the event you and your spouse are unable to provide care.

You may not know it, but you’re already born with an estate plan. It just might not be the right one for you. Here’s why you don’t have to be a millionaire in order to have a will.

Intestacy laws

All states across the U.S. have guidelines to follow when it comes to handling your cash and belongings after you’ve passed away. These are known as the intestacy laws.

Typically, under these laws, your estate will pass to your closest living relative(s).

The intestacy laws additionally dictate how assets are divided amongst your family members. For example, in New York, your surviving spouse gets half of the balance and your kids get everything else.

However, maybe you want your assets to be distributed differently. This is why it’s important to have a will. Additionally, you should be aware of who you name as the recipient of your retirement accounts and life insurance. Your will does NOT override your beneficiary designations.

Protecting Minors

Wills are extremely important for families with young children.

To avoid conflict between relatives it is recommended to add a clause that will name a guardian for your child in the event you and your spouse are unable to provide care.

The total package

To ensure your basic estate plan is in order there are two necessary documents to get started:

  • the power of attorney
  • medical directives

The person to whom you grant the power of attorney will oversee your finances if you’re incapacitated.

Medical directives allow you to share how you prefer to receive health care in the event in the event you are unable to communicate your wishes.

These documents keep your loved ones from having to make tough decisions during a crucial time and ensure your wishes are followed.

To learn more about getting your estate plan in order, contact David Veliz at the Veliz Law Firm. Read the full article by Darla Mercado at CNBC.