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What Is the Relationship between Estate Planning and Wills?

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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 03 September 2016
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The relationship between estate planning and wills is related to the importance of proper wills in the process of sorting the estate of a deceased individual.This connection between estate planning and wills can be seen in the inconvenience in an application of estate planning when an individual dies without any will, known as intestate. A will is important because it specifically states the exact manner in which the estate will be divided, including a clear list of who will be the beneficiaries of the estate, or heirs. As such, dying in the absence of a proper will only leaves one option open to the administrators of the estate, usually the representatives of the state who will apply any applicable state law toward the distribution of assets.

One of the links between estate planning and wills is the fact that the beneficiaries, along with who gets what is clearly stated. Some people might decide to leave their estate to a philanthropic organization, such as a society that is dedicated to the preservation of historic symbols. In such a case, the application of the will toward estate planning is the fact that it allows the wishes of the deceased to be implemented, as opposed to the laws of the land. Usually, the law establishes the beneficiaries of the estate of a person who died without a will according to varying degrees of the relationship of surviving descendants to the person, starting from the closest relative.

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Another application of the relationship between estate planning and wills is derived from the fact that it allows the owner of the estate to make concrete plans for any minor dependents or any mentality incapable dependents in terms of the appointment of a guardian to administer the estate on behalf of such a person until a stated period. The value of this type of foresight is the fact that it gives the owner of the estate the choice to select a guardian of his or her choice rather than for the court to assume the responsibility of appointing someone of its choosing. Most times, when this sort of situation occurs, some close relatives will present themselves as candidates for the position of guardians for the minors or mentality incapable dependents. If these people are not the sort of people the owner of the estate would have chosen, he or she would have forfeited the right to choose a person by dying without a will.

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