Advice from a Will Attorney: Is a Will Really That Important?

POSTED ON: February 17, 2023
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If you have yet to create a valid, legal will, you may wonder if you actually need one of these documents. But any will attorney will tell you that most people, regardless of age or financial situation, need a will. If you do not have a legal will, it can lead to family disputes or significant court costs to settle your estate.

If you own property of any type or have young children, work with a will attorney to put your wishes in writing. This way, your estate will be handled responsibly and how you would want at the end of your life. Not only can a will help settle some of the common routines of someone’s affairs, but it can also provide additional protection for rare events.

If you die without a will, you will die “intestate.” When this happens, your property is handed over to the local probate court and your beneficiaries and creditors will then be identified. Typically, the property will go to the surviving spouse first, then to any children, and then to other extended family members and descendants. All of this will occur according to the state’s probate laws. If no family is found, the property will typically go to the state.

You can also ask your will attorney about putting together a living trust. Trusts can include instructions for how to divide assets, including investments, businesses, and property. Although most of your estate’s instructions should be covered in a living trust, having a will can serve as a backup document to lay out how to transfer property and other assets.

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