A will is basically used for dealing with your property after you die. If you don’t have one, the laws of intestacy apply and your property will be disposed of according to the laws of the state. Attorney Benjamin Ginter runs the Law Offices of Benjamin J. Ginter in Cranford, New Jersey. He always advises all his clients to make a will. Here, he talks about why having an up-to-date will is important, especially since you never know what will happen in the future.
The Importance of Having a Will
It’s important to have a will because you want the power to decide how your property is disposed of after you’re gone.
In your will, you can insert clauses that perhaps protect your young children if you die at an early age. A will allows you to create a trust, appointing a guardian for your children. You can even create a pet trust if you worry about the life of your dog after you die. With a will, you can make provisions ensuring that your young children or little dog will be taken good care of when you’re not there to look after them anymore.
If you have a trust, a will is also important. A trust allows you to see how your assets will be distributed and to minimize taxes after your death. But a will is also needed as a trust only deals with specific assets such as life insurance, not everything.
Usually, in your will you should assign an executor who is in charge of carrying out your wishes to the letter. You should normally have 2 to 3 witnesses when you sign the will.
Making Your Will Updated
Many people think once they have made a will, the deed is done. But it is always a good idea to review your will from time to time to make sure it is updated. It’s necessary for you to review it especially in the following situations:
Your marital situation changed.
You had more children, or a child died.
A spouse died.
You entered into a new business.
Your residence changed.
There was a significant change in your assets.
What Will Be If There Is No Will
If you fail to have a will, the state will make decisions for you. Although intestacy laws vary from state to state, no doubt your property will be distributed between your spouse and your children, if you have any. If you are single, the state will make decisions about which blood relatives will get your estate, even if you have had no contact with them for many years. The state can also decide who will be the guardian of your minors if you have left without a will.
Never underestimate the importance of having a will. It will protect not only your interests but also those of generations to come. The cost of making a will is usually minimal, but your beneficiaries will get more from that.