Do I Need A Will?

will and testament - Suzanne R. Fanning PLLC

Here are five great reasons why you need a will.

1. A will gives you the ability to distribute your assets the way you want.

If you die without a will, the State decides how to distribute your assets after your death. A will allows you to instruct exactly who gets what. For example, say you have three children. Two of your children use your cottage but the third one lives out of state and has no interest in the cottage. In your will, you can give your two children the cottage. You can give the third child other assets to equalize the gift of the cottage to his or her siblings. Without a will, you cannot make this type of specific gifting of your assets between your children or other beneficiaries.

2. You can name a Guardian and Conservator for your minor children.

A will can take away a parents' fear about who will look after the children if something happens to them. In a will, you can name one or more individuals to act as Guardian of your minor children if you die. The Guardian is the person who will have physical custody of your minor children and be in charge of medical decisions for them. In addition, you can designate the Conservator of your minor children. The Conservator is the person who will make financial and legal decisions for your minor children. Identifying your choice of a Guardian and Conservator is a great way to avoid future conflict. This might be especially helpful if you have a family member who would be unsuitable t

3. You can avoid unintended consequences.

Say that you are estranged from a family member. If you don't have a will, there is a chance that your estranged family member might be entitled to a share of your estate. By having a will, you can make it clear to the probate court that you intend to disinherit a particular family member.

4. A will allows you to pick who will be in charge of your estate.

In a will, you can decide who you want to be the Personal Representative (Executor) of your will. Without a will, any number of family members have the right to seek this position. Make sure you get to choose a responsible person who will act in the best interests of your beneficiaries by naming that person in your will.

5. You can leave specific instructions about your funeral and burial plans.

A will allows you to leave instructions about what you want to happen with your body after your death. Fewer people want a traditional and expensive full funeral service and burial with an obituary in the paper. Instead, cremation and informal memorials are becoming more popular choices. It also gives you the opportunity to tell your Personal Representative exactly what your wishes are.

A will is a simple and expensive way to make sure that you can transfer your assets to the people that you want to benefit, allows you to designate fiduciaries and provide instruction about your burial and funeral plans. It's never to late to have a will done so you can rest easy knowing your wishes will be followed after your death. Contact our experienced estate planning attorney to create your will, today.

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