Should I have a will is really a mute question because everyone has a will. The question everyone must answer is, will the state’s will meet my needs and desires? The state’s will was prepared by your state legislators. One can put off drafting a will and let the state’s designated will be your document or you can take charge and make your own decisions about your estate.
What is important is having a will that reflects your desires. Let’s consider Robert and Karen who, at age 39, did not have a will. Robert died suddenly in an accident! Karen, his wife, with two children, 11 and 13, was unexpectedly thrust into the process of dealing with Robert’s estate assets. The estate assets amounted to about $600,000; including a house, life insurance and savings. The funds would have been enough for Karen if she received the whole estate, but without a will in this particular state, she wouldn’t. Under this state’s law Karen was only entitled to half of the estate. To manage the children’s half, she would need to secure an attorney who would prepare appropriate fillings.
The time and cost involved could have been avoided with a single sentence in a will, “I leave my entire estate to my wife, Karen, and I appoint her to be my personal representative, to serve without bond.”
Robert and Karen represent many individuals who don’t plan to die or just put off doing the obvious.
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