Why you and your family needs a will

Why you and your family need a will

If you unexpectedly died, do you know who would get your assets or who would get custody of your kids?

It was recently discovered that superstar musician, Prince, did not have a will when he died. A lengthy legal battle could play out over who gets what in terms of his assets.

Several reports peg Prince’s estate at a value of $300 million, and experts say half could be lost to taxes. You don’t need to have anywhere close to that amount to be impacted.

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A simple will can make life a whole lot easier for your loved ones when your life ends. A will is a simple legal document that attorney Caren Nichol says just about everyone should have.

“You would want to put in there any asset that you specifically want to leave to an individual,” Nichol, who works in estate planning, told FOX13.

Examples of what you would include in your will are cash, jewelry or any other real personal property you own.

Things not protected by a will include life insurance payouts, trusts and jointly owned homes and bank accounts.

If you don’t have a will, the court can decide who gets what, and that can get messy.

“That's why what you really want to do with a will is make sure your family members are not arguing upon your death,” Nichol said.

If you have a will with a previous spouse you’re now divorced to – get a new one.

“The court has to decide how that's broken up and how that money gets to those people,” Nichol said.

Wills can also help direct who gets custody of the kids.

“You put in the will who you want to care for your child, but understand a judge is going to have to decide if that's in the best interest of the child,” Nichol said.

Estates start getting taxed at $1.6 million.