Not just for the wealthy! Without an estate plan the disposition of assets can be complicated, expensive and cause undo family stress.
Wills and trust basically communicate your wishes for the distribution of your stuff when you are done playing. If you die without one, the state decides who gets your stuff and you have no say.
A more sophisticated will can be a tax advantage will that incorporates tax strategies to reduce tax burden and take advantage of other legal items a standard (simple) will could not accomplish (like charitable wishes).
A will goes through probate is part of public record and trust does not.
As important as a will and/or trust are
- Living Will
- Healthcare Proxy
These documents give others the right to make decisions (financial, living wishes and healthcare directives) on your behalf if you are unable to.