Why You Should Have a Will?
Some people think that only the very wealthy or those with complicated assets need wills. However, here are many good reasons to have a will:
▪︎You can be clear about who gets your assets.
▪︎You can identify who should care for your children. Without a will, the courts will decide.
▪︎Your heirs will have a faster and easier time getting access to your assets.
▪︎A will is also helpful even if you have a Trust—a legal mechanism that lets you put conditions on how your assets are distributed after you die and, often, to minimize gift and estate taxes. That’s because most trusts deal only with specific assets, such as life insurance or a piece of property, rather than the sum total of your holdings.
▪︎There’s a key exception: If the beneficiaries of those assets predeceased the testator, the policy or account then reverts to the estate and is distributed according to the terms of a will or, failing that, by a probate court—a part of the judicial system that primarily handles wills, estates, and related matters.
What Happens If I Don’t Have a Will?
If you die intestate—that is, without a will—the state oversees the dispensation of your assets, which it will typically distribute according to a set formula.
A common question asked by individuals with a last will and testament is whether or not their will is respected across state lines and can be transported to a different state if they relocate. The short answer is generally yes.
*This information is solely shared as as bullet points and not intended as legal advice.