Why you should have a Will
What is a Will?
It’s a legal document stating your wishes for the settlement of your “estate” after your death. Your “estate” is everything you own.
It lets you decide:
To whom your property will be distributed-family, friends or institutions.
How your estate will be distributed. For example, as outright gifts or in trust.
Who will supervise the process-executor, trustee, etc.
Any other important matters, such as when distribution will be made.
Is a Will necessary? Yes
- You can determine distribution of your personal belongings, real estate, etc. according to your own plan.
- Provide for family needs, both immediate & long range. This includes naming a guardian for minor children & remembering certain family members or friends in specific ways.
- Plan wisely for taxes (estate, income, etc.) to help your heirs manage taxation.
- Make contributions to your favorite charities, schools, etc.
A will is a legal GUARANTEE that your wishes will be carried out after you die.
If you die without a will,
the court will divide your property according to state law.
Your spouse may have to share with other family members you wouldn’t have named in the will.
Your children will share equally, regardless of their need or your wishes.
Minors will have a guardian appointed by the court, if you don’t choose one.
And the court will choose someone to settle your estate, this will cost your estate.
A lawyer can ensure that your will complies with:
- Requirements of form, language & execution are needed for a will to be valid, all must be precise.
- Tax laws from a professional may save your heirs unnecessary taxes.
- Property transfer laws to be applied by a professional can avoid possible problems.
- Changing laws need to be reviewed to keep your will up to date by a lawyer.
Wills need to be changed when: You have married; moved to another state; had a child or grandchild, or if someone dies; changed your mind; or the value of your assets have changed significantly.