Monday, August 16, 2010

The 5 Top Reasons to Have a Will

The 5 Top Reasons for Having a Will

Before I get into the five top reasons for having a Will, I want to invite you to follow our blog and become a contributor with your comments and questions. Your contribution and participation will help to make our blog better.

Like our recent article about the 5 top reasons for having an estate plan, there are many, many reasons for having a Will. This article will focus on what I believe to the be the top five reasons. You might have reasons that are not discussed here and if so, let us know.

1. You get to pick your Executor or Personal Representative

This is an important reason and introduces the concept of having a Will so your choices are recognized vs. those of your state. When you have a Will, you can choose who will administer the Will and your estate. This is an important, fundamental power that you should not surrender.

2. Your kids won't have to go to foster care, even temporarily.

Most clients with children don't want their kids to spend any time in foster care. But if you die without a Will, this is a real possibility. With a Will of your own, you can provide for the guardianship of your kids to make sure that this doesn't happen.

3. Your pets won't have to go to a shelter or be euthanized.

For many clients their pets are like children and they want to be sure the pets are cared for if something happens. With a Will you can provide for custody and living arrangement for your pets. Those arrangements are problematic without a Will.

4. Your property will go to who YOU want when YOU want.

If you die without a Will, the state provides one to you in the form of the state's laws of intestacy. So, if you want your property to go to certain persons in a specific way, then creating a Will is a must. Otherwise, the state will dictate where your property goes and if property ends up where you want, it's only a matter of coincidence.

5. You can protect your children or loved ones from wasting their inheritance and destroying your legacy.

Most clients I speak with are adamant that they do not want large sums of money delivered to their children at young ages. If you don't want your kids inheriting your estate at an early age line 21, then creating a Will is a must. In your Will, you can stage the delivery of a child's inheritance until they achieve an age that you believe is more suitable for handling money and property. Who wants their estate to be wasted buying a $200,000 car for an 18 year old? If you don't, then you need to create a Will.

A final thought. I have written before on the dangers of internet Wills and Wills from software programs. I encourage you to read that article. One popular internet Will is being sold by one of OJ's lawyers. In a recent poll we conducted, not one person who responded was interested in buying an internet Will from that source.

We recommend that you deal with a qualified estate planning attorney when you decide it's time to create your Will and estate plan.

Let us know if you have other reasons for creating a Will.

Bernie Greenberg

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