If you’re like a lot of people you know you should have a Will and feel guilty that you don’t have one. There’s another large group of people who don’t know if they need a Will or they think that they don’t need a Will. Which group are you in?
Okay, first of all, EVERYONE, age 18 or older, needs a Will. Yes, everyone. Even you need a Will; no matter what. For those of you with trust planning, you likely have a Will but may not know why. You have a Pour-Over-Will. The Will only has one beneficiary, your trust. It acts like a legal “pooper scooper,” picking up an assets not in the trust and pouring them into the trust. Additionally, the Will names guardians to care for your minor children and the executor to administer your estate.
Now, for those of you with only a few assets, yes, you still need a Will. Your Will names guardians to care for your minor children and the executor to administer your estate and distributes the few assets you do have. There is business to attend to such as paying last bills, filing tax returns (income tax and any applicable inheritance tax), canceling utilities and subscriptions, and paying for the funeral and burial.
A Will is an essential part of any estate plan. These legal estate planning documents work with your Will to ensure that your wishes are carried out: Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Living Will, HIPAA Release, Organ Donation Release and perhaps a Revocable Living Trust.
If you are unsure whether you need any of these particular estate planning tools, contact your estate planning attorney who will be happy to answer your questions and guide you through making a Will and your estate planning.