There are so many reasons why people need an estate plan, which almost always includes a Will, that in all likelihood everyone needs one, according to The Bellingham Herald in "Here are seven reasons you want to protect your family with a last will and testament."
The reasons why you may need a Will include:
- Without a Will, you have no say in who inherits your property. Everything is determined by state laws of intestate succession.
- No Will also means you do not get to decide who manages your estate after you pass away. The court will appoint someone to do so and it may not be the same person you would have chosen.
- If you have minor children, then without a Will you will not be able to nominate their guardian. If you do not have a will, then the court appoints someone who might not be the same person you would have wanted.
- For various reasons, distributing your property through joint ownerships and TOD registrations are often not the best approach, and frequently leads to a distortion of your intentions.
- Without a Will, it is impossible to plan for the impact of potential taxes on your estate.
- Wills generally make going through probate and the estate administration process much faster than without one.
- If you want to leave anything behind for charity, then you need a Will to do that.
While you are visiting an estate planning attorney to obtain a Will, the attorney might suggest additional estate planning techniques and instruments, such as various trusts. You will not know what options are right for you unless you go to an experienced estate planning attorney.
If you believe you do not need a Will, you should probably should go visit with an estate planning attorney and find out for sure.
Reference: The Bellingham Herald (March 22, 2018) "Here are seven reasons you want to protect your family with a last will and testament."