While no one likes to think about dying and who will get your material possessions, it’s something everyone should keep in mind.
Ask a probate litigation lawyer and she or he will tell you it’s important to leave a will — no matter the size of your estate.
Read on for the full explanation.
What is a Will?
Before you understand why you need a will, you should understand what a will is.
A will or testament is a legal document with your last wishes in regards to your property and custody of any minor children you might have.
In order to make sure your last wishes are carried out, you should leave formal instructions in writing.
Typically, in order for these documents to hold up in court, it should be a self-proving will signed by you in front of witnesses.
Who Needs a Will?
There’s a common misconception that only those who are rich or have a lot of assets need to have a will.
However, even if you only have few assets and material possessions, you should have a will.
Having a will becomes especially important if you have minor children and you must arrange for a legal guardian.
Also, with a will, you can appoint an executor of your estate who can handle carrying out your last wishes and settle all of your financial affairs.
Why Do You Need a Will?
If you don’t leave a will in place, the probate court will make all of the decisions regarding your estate no matter how big or small.
Your family member will be forced to take your estate through probate and spend a long period of time tied up in court. Not to mention, aside from settling any debts, your family will also have to spend large sums of money on legal fees.
If you have children and don’t make custody arrangements, then the court will be in charge of appointing a legal guardian.
The court will pick the guardian they think is best suited to take on the job. If you want your children to be in the care of the people you trust the most, then you put it in your will.
If You Don’t Have a Will
If you don’t have a will, you can forget about leaving your best friend your collection of baseball cards. The decision won’t be up to you, but up to the court.
Most courts divide your assets according to a formula. For example, half of your assets go to your children and the other half to your spouse. Of course, it can be more complicated than this.
Will You need a Lawyer
While it’s not required by law for a lawyer to create your will, you will save yourself the trouble to do it yourself if you get a lawyer.
A lawyer will ensure all of your last wishes are carried out in your will.
Consult a Probate Litigation Lawyer
No matter the size of your estate, you should leave a will to ensure your last wishes are carried out. You will save your loved ones a lot of trouble.
Looking for a probate litigation lawyer? Let Hardesty Law Office help you.
Contact us to ask a question or book a consultation.