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Do I Need a Will?

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Do I Need a Will?

I hear this question quite a bit. The answer is not always a yes or a no. However, after talking to your attorney you should have a better idea on whether a Will is something that you need. To start you should know some of the benefits of having a Will and also some of the reasons that not everyone needs a Will.

One of the biggest benefits to having a Will is being able to control what happens to your estate when you die. If you do not have a Will, then your estate will be subject to varying state laws. So, if you are married, do not count on everything being passed to your spouse. Some states have adopted laws that split your estate between your spouse and your children. With a Will you have the choice of who receives your estate and what percentage.

Another benefit is naming a guardian for minor children. If something were to happen to you and/or the other parent who do you want to care for your children? A Will provides a simple way to make sure that your children do not end up with someone that you feel is unprepared or unsuited to take care of your children.

Finally, a Will gives you the choice of appointing someone to take care of your final wishes. If you do not feel like your spouse or close family members have the ability to successfully carry out your wishes then a Will gives you the power to name someone that you feel more comfortably about.

There are some reasons that you may not need a will. For example, life insurance, pension accounts, joint accounts, and revocable trusts are all devices that an owner can name a beneficiary during life, and the asset will transfer to the named beneficiary at the time of the death of the owner without the need of probate or a will.

If you have questions or need advice you should contact an estate planning attorney to assist you. As with other areas of law, the estate planning rules change from time to time and vary state to state.

 

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About the Author

Mr. Armstrong is a partner in the law firm of Arlint & Armstrong. His practice areas include income taxation, estate planning and business law.

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