Why Do I Need a Will?


I have been asked many times “Why do I need a Will?” Many couples and individuals underestimate the importance of estate planning and the necessity of creating wills.  They often think it isn't necessary either due to age, minimum assets, no kids or because they simply consider themselves immortal.  Even if you currently feel indestructible like Luke Cage, Super Man or Wonder Woman, you should seriously begin planning for the future and create a will.

In general, wills serve the purpose of transferring probate property at death.  Probate property is property that did not transfer to others at death through beneficiary designations, survivorship rights or a trust created and funded during your lifetime. A will should be considered for simple and complex estate plans. You might consider a will when there is a lack of trust in others to administer the estate without judicial oversight and when your goals cannot be accomplished by designating beneficiaries on accounts or holding title to property jointly.  

Even if a more extensive plan is needed, such as the creation of a trust, a will is a quick way to have a legal document in place in the case of travel or illness. 

Wills also allow you to provide clear instructions on the disposition of your remains and the appointment of a guardian for minor children.

If you fail to create a valid will prior to death, assets not disposed of by survivorship rights or beneficiary designations will be determined by intestate succession which dictates who receives what property and in what shares. 

Additionally, subsequent events such as marriage, birth or adoption of a child, divorce or annulment require a prior will to be updated or modified.  Otherwise, certain provisions may not remain intact.  To ensure that your wishes are met, be proactive and plan for tomorrow, now.