Among the things a person may care greatly about is the legacy they leave behind. A desire to build the type of legacy they want and control what their legacy will be can be a driving force in many of a person’s actions, including how they conduct themselves in their business and personal dealings, how they get involved in their community and what sorts of things they build and create (like businesses).
However, how a person acts during their lifetime is not the only thing that can impact their legacy. So too can what happens after they die, such how the property they obtained during their life is used after their death and what happens with businesses and other things they built up during their lifetime after their passing.
A person may feel that they are helpless to control what happens with their legacy after their death. However, there are things a person can do that can allow them to assert some control over this. One action that can be helpful on this front is having a will.
A will allows a person to create legally binding instructions regarding what is to be done with the property in their estate after they die. Among the goals such instructions could be directed towards is ensuring that what happens with one's property post-death is consistent with the legacy they built during their lifetime. Experienced attorneys can advise individuals on what estate planning actions they could take towards the goal of preserving their legacy.
When a person doesn’t have a will or put other estate planning devices in place regarding their assets, what will happen with the assets upon their death will be governed by state law, rather than their wishes. So, one of the costs of not having a will can be a loss of control upon death, including a loss of control over one’s legacy.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Prince's death illustrates importance of having a will,” Gail MarksJarvis, April 29, 2016