At some point, most people start to wonder if they need a will. This may happen when you have your first child; when you realize that your homegrown business is becoming successful; or when you have a health scare or accident.
What is a Will?
A will is a legal document that clarifies who will receive your assets. It may also appoint certain people as legal guardians if you have children who are minors.
We feel like everyone should have a will, but there are times when having one is even more pressing than normal. Ask yourself if you have concerns or questions about any of the following:
- Avoiding probate
- Managing assets if you’re incapacitated
- Passing an inheritance to members of your family
- Preventing disputes among your family members
- Protecting assets from creditors
- Protecting your children
- Protecting your heirs’ inheritance from divorce
- Reducing taxes
What if I Don’t Have Children (or Money)?
If you don’t have children or much money in your savings account, you may assume there’s no point in having a will – who are you going to leave your limited assets to?
Not being in a comfortable financial position now doesn’t mean that something won’t happen tomorrow that will change your situation. Let’s say you get into an accident and your estate is awarded a lot of money in damages. Who will that money go to? How will it be divided up?
Yes, that may feel like a one-in-a-million chance (and even macabre to think about), but it does happen. Having a will isn’t just preparation for the expected, it’s also preparation for the unexpected.
Also, you can never know for sure if you’re going to stumble upon an unknown financial asset. What if you’re left a piece of property in someone else’s will or you get reimbursed for high medical bills?
By having a will, you’ll appoint someone as your executor who can pay your creditors, cash checks and distribute your assets on your behalf. The will also clarifies who that executor will be so that family members don’t fight over the role.
Contact an Estate Planning Lawyer
If you’re not sure whether or not you need a will, or you can’t seem to figure out what exactly to include in a will, contact an estate planning lawyer.
At Angelino Law, we provide the full range of estate planning services, including wills and trusts. Find out more about our estate planning services here.