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Wills and estate planning

Do I need a will? 3 reasons why your answer should be a resounding "Yes"

When you consider the reasons a will is important, you may find that you need one more than you think.
Particularly if you're young, you may think you don't need a will. Here are three good reasons for you to consider creating a last will and testament. 

Reason #1: You have special needs or minor children

If you have young children or children with special needs, you should be especially proactive about making a will. If you were to die unexpectedly, it's your will that determines who your children's guardians will be. Without a will, the appointing of a guardian for your children will be left in the hands of the state.

Reason #2: You need someone to manage your estate after you die

An executor or executrix is a trustworthy and competent individual who is responsible for inventorying your assets and property, making sure any lingering debts and taxes (including estate taxes) are paid, properly dispersing your assets, informing your banks and creditors that you are deceased, as well as guiding your case through probate court. If you die without an executor, the state will appoint someone for you. le

Reason #3: You want to be able to specify who gets what

People often think that an “oral will” (final requests spoken aloud in front of witnesses) and a “holographic will” (a document drawn up by you without the presence of witnesses) are sufficient when it comes to doling out your property when you die. The fact is, these types of wills don't have much legal bearing in court. A formally prepared will that is signed by two or three witnesses (who do not stand to inherit from you) is the ideal way to ensure that your money and assets are left to the heirs you intend to leave them to. If you don't have a legally binding will and die with no remaining immediate family, your assets will be dispersed according to the applicable estate laws of the state in which you lived.

No matter who you are, chances are, you could stand to benefit from creating a last will and testament. If you're unsure how to get started, consider meeting with an estate planning  attorney who can assist you with the process.

 

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