A will is an important document that allows you to decide where your property and possessions go after you pass away. A person who dies before filling out a will can have their assets distributed based on the laws of the state they live. When a person dies without first writing a will, it is called “dying intestate.” Your spouse and children typically will be given your assets in that case, but it is not always the case. If you do not have a husband, wife, or children, then it becomes much more complicated. Some individuals have a greater need for a will than others. The question then becomes: When do you need a will?
Everyone seems to have different answers to that question. Many believe that it is always better to have a will. However, there are some specific groups of people that absolutely should have a will, as well as groups who do not need one.
Men and women who are married will need a will. A spouse is so important to you that you would not want to risk the chance of them not getting your assets. In most states, your husband or wife will inherit your assets without a will, but there is no reason to risk them not. Additionally, if you have something you would like to leave to someone other than your spouse, you will need to note that information in a will.
Parents should also be sure to have a will ready. Like you spouse, your kids will likely inherit your belongings when you die, or after your spouse dies, but they may not due to your state’s laws. If you want to make sure they inherit your assets, you will need to execute a will to ensure everything goes exactly the way you want. If you do not want one or more of your kids to inherit your assets, that should also be in writing.
It is also imperative to write a will so you can name an executor of your estate and a guardian for your children. The executor of your estate’s job is to distributing your assets. For example, they hold on to your assets until your kids are old enough to handle them responsibly. You should write down how you want your executor to manage the situation. Choosing a guardian for your children is also important. The guardian you select will be accountable for raising your children after you have passed.
As your family changes, it is important to update your will. If you write your will while you only have two kids, and have a third child later, that child must be added to the will if you wish for your third child to inherit your assets. Alternatively, if you decide you do not want to name a child on the will, you must update it accordingly.
If you have a considerably high net worth, you should have a will. Even if you are single and do not have children, your assets will be distributed. It is easier on your family and friends if you take the time and put your wishes into writing to remove any confusion surrounding the distribution of your wealth.
People who do not fall into these three categories do not need a will yet. The will is designed to allocate your assets according to your wishes after your passing. If you have limited assets, there is no point in having a will yet. If you get married, have children, or come into money or property, then you will need a will.
When it comes to a will, everything you own is at risk. Writing your own will could leave your loved ones with nothing if done improperly. The cost for a simple will is often between $300-$1000. A more complex will could cost more depending on the circumstances.
The Atlanta estate planning lawyer you choose to write a will is an important decision that should be based on much more than legal fees. As previously stated, your will decides the fate of everything you own and your dearest loved ones. Take time today to make sure that your wishes are carried out and that your loved ones receive the best care after you are gone.