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Why Do I Need a Will?

While the reasons to have a will far outnumber those against, statistics indicate that over half of Americans do not have wills. As the saying goes, “None of us is getting out of here alive.” At issue is the amount of control you want in disposing of your assets, because in the absence of a will, state law dictates who will benefit from your estate.

For parents of minors, a will is critical because it designates the person whom the parents want as guardian of their children. Furthermore, the will names an executor of the estate who will gather all of the decedent’s assets, pay off the decedent’s debts (including any estate or other taxes) and distribute the remaining property to the beneficiaries named in the will. Standard provisions in wills waive the necessity of a bond. However, if a person dies without a will, the probate court will appoint someone to act in place of an executor and that person will need to post a bond.

Realizing that you need a will, you still may ask, with the information that is readily available on the internet, why should I pay a lawyer to draft my will? The answer is information and advice. For example, wills only affect the disposition of probate (as opposed to non-probate) assets; a life insurance policy with a designated beneficiary is not a probate asset and, therefore, not affected by the provisions of a will.

Stop making excuses. Contact your Stark & Knoll attorney to create a thoughtful estate plan that will accomplish your objectives and is tailored to fit your personal situation. Planning for death is never pleasant, but your loved ones will be relieved to find out that you were not a statistic.
 

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