American families are busier than ever. Many times when asked how we are doing, we respond, “You know, we have been super busy.” Perhaps you have long hours at work mixed with long hours of parenting that have left you too tired to think about things too far in the future. For this reason, many Americans do not have an estate plan or even a will in place. In fact, six out of every 10 American adults do not have a living trust or will. There are several compelling reasons why it is wise to have a will in place, even if you are young and healthy. It is wise for everyone, no matter their situation in life or amount of wealth, to have a basic estate plan in place.
What Happens if You do Not Have a Will in Place?
If you do not have a will or living trust in place when you die, you will die intestate in New Hampshire. That means that your assets will be subject to the probate court. In other words, the probate court will distribute your property according to New Hampshire Intestacy Law (NH RSA 561). First, the probate court will pay any debts you owe.
These laws dictate who is first in line to receive your property and then goes on from there. For example, New Hampshire’s intestate laws say that if you die and have a spouse but no surviving parent or child, the spouse will get everything. The laws go on from there and become more complicated, stating who receives what amount. In short, things can become quite complicated for your family if you die without a will.
What are the Benefits of Having a Will or Living Trust in New Hampshire?
A will can be a relatively simple document, and if you have one, you can designate the way you would like to distribute your estate in New Hampshire. For some, creating a living trust is a better option. A living trust has some advantages over a will. First, the trust owns your estate. Thus, upon your death, the estate stays in the living trust and need not go through probate court, saving your beneficiaries time and money.
Upon your death, the person you name as the trustee after your death will gain control of your estate. The trustee can continue administering the trust without interference from the probate court. If you set up a living trust in your lifetime, it has the potential to add to the value of your estate; it also offers you protection if you become mentally incapacitated. While creating a will is a significant first step, setting up a living trust might better fit your needs.
If You do Not Have Any Estate Planning Documents, We are Here to Help
Our dedicated New Hampshire estate planning attorneys will ensure that those you care about inherit your assets as smoothly as possible. When it comes to your estate, a little planning will go a long way in securing your future as well as the future of those you love. Contact us online or call us today at (603) 232-5220.