No Will?

Do you have a Will? What? -- No Will? Why not?

know, we all have a problem with making out our wills... we have to talk about Death, and nobody really wants to go there. Let's put it off -- maybe tomorrow, maybe next year...

BUT -- what happens if you die and leave no will? Why not protect your family even if it means thinking about death.. it doesn't mean you might die sooner, it only means you took the time to care about your family in case the inevitable happens.

What is a will?

A will is a legal document, correctly written to follow the law, where you have the ability to say where your personal property goes. Who gets what when you die?

If you have a will, you choose who gets what (and what dollar amount out of your estate). If you have no will, the courts make those determinations.

Some small estates might get by with a handwritten will, mostly to determine who gets your personal things at your death.

Why you need a will:

  • You can name whomever you want to handle your estate. If you don't have one, the courts will determine who does the estate - family or a court-appointed executor, which often leads to issues within your family. The executor must get a bond, paid from your estate.
  • Your family can't sell or do anything without court approval. Court expenses will be taken from the estate as your family can't sell or distribute any property without court approval.
  • Taxes may be higher without a will. Th is is the part of the will that attorneys will speak to you about... so that everying is distributed as you wish, within the confines of the law.
  • Bottom line: The will protects all of your savings and everything you own. 

  • Return for more Estate Planning articles.