A will isn’t just about avoiding the federal estate tax.
Even if the Republican-controlled Presidency and Congress eliminate the federal tax, the need for an estate plan is not eliminated, according to Forbes in "Five Reasons You Need a Will (Even If the Estate Tax Is Repealed)!"
The reasons include:
- In a will you appoint an executor who is in charge of administering your affairs. The executor can make sure that all of your debts are paid and that your assets are handled appropriately.
- If you have minor children, a will is used to designate who you want to have guardianship of those children in case something happens to you.
- In a will, you can give specific bequests to people. That means if you want one of your children to have a specific piece of personal property for sentimental reasons, a will is the place that you do that.
- While getting a will you can also get advanced medical directives that will determine how you should be cared for, if you are incapacitated and not able to communicate with doctors at the time.
- A will is more efficient than allowing the courts to handle your affairs without directions from you. It also protects your estate by making sure that your property does not go to people you do not want to have it.
Reference: Forbes (Dec. 8, 2016) "Five Reasons You Need a Will (Even If the Estate Tax Is Repealed)!"