Estate Planning –
Do I Need a Will If I Don’t Have Assets?
A major misunderstanding about estate planning is that you need to be wealthy before a will is necessary. False! A will provides the people you’ve left behind with a lot of information beyond where your things will go.
If you have minor children, a will provides crucial information to your family, friends, and the court about who you want to be the guardian of your children should you die. Although the final determination about permanent guardianship will be at the court’s discretion, listing who will be the guardian in your will takes away any of the guess work or arguing between your family and friends after you pass.
A will provides valuable information about who will be your personal representative after you pass away. The personal representative, or PR, is often referred to as an executor in many states. This person is responsible for winding down all of your accounts, gathering your assets, and properly distributing them to your beneficiaries. Listing your preference for a PR in your will allows the court to easily identify and approve your choice as opposed to your family deciding who will serve in the role.
There are other miscellaneous wishes documented in a will. You can also add in information regarding your preferred burial arrangements, explicitly exclude individuals from inheritance, or giving specific gifts to individuals or charities.
The purpose of a will goes far beyond the distribution of your assets. Dying without a will, legally known as “intestate”, leaves a lot of guess work as to your wishes, and relies on the state default for distribution. Having control of these things is important and a will is a very easy method of ensuring your wishes are documented.
We offer a free consultation to discuss your situation specifically and determine what documents would be right for you. Call us or message us through our website to schedule your appointment today.