When someone cuts corners on estate planning and goes for the simple and easy will, the results could be that they will cause their loved ones a great deal of grief when it comes time to settled their estate. There is no such thing as a simple and easy will, and most wills that are simple and easy, are nearly worthless when it comes to actually settling the deceaseds estate.
If you write a will and just state in that will that you want your spouse to receive everything, or that you want your children to receive all of your assets, splitting them equally, you will probably have some problems. The fact is that in most cases, this is what would happen, even if you did not leave a will. It is true that a will can make the probate proceedings a little less expensive and faster, but you dont even need a will to make sure that your property is divided in this manner.
The law provides that certain people should inherit the deceaseds estate by right, if there is no will. This will usually include the spouse and any children. If there is no spouse or children, the right to inherit will then be the parents, siblings, etc. You do not need a will to accomplish this, but keep in mind that probate can be expensive, and without a will that provides clear instructions, there could be some major problems within your family.
The simple will also allows you to name a guardian for minor children, which is very important. Without naming a guardian for your children, the court will decide who will care for your children until they are grown.
What a simple will does not do is keep your estate out of probate. No will can keep your estate out of probate; the only way to do this is if you have an estate plan that includes a trust. In addition to this, your assets must be funded to that trust. A will also does not do anything to protect the assets that you leave your children.
You will save a lot of money with an estate plan that only consists of a will, but it is likely going to cost your estate quite a lot in the future. Wills do not cover some of the most important aspects of estate plans, and simple wills do even less.
If you want to simplify things for your family and keep your estate out of probate, you will want a solid estate plan that includes a Living Trust.