According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), roughly 60% of American adults do not have a written will. This can dramatically affect an already emotional time – the passing of a loved one. Discover the answers to frequently asked questions about writing a will:
Why should I write a will?
Many people have assets, properties, finances, and more that they want to give to family members, friends, or charitable organizations when they pass away. By writing a will, you are stating your wishes in a legal document that cannot be altered by anyone except you. A will ensures your wishes are honored.
What happens if I don’t prepare a will?
If a will has not been written before you pass away, the state will enact its inheritance rights. Most states will allow the spouse to have the first say, then the children, and so on. However, this can cause tension between family members and friends. By writing a will, you are removing the strain that may be present in this situation.
What do I include in the will?
Most wills state clearly who will be your executor, name the beneficiaries, address your financial situation, who should take care of pets, and more. A skilled attorney will bring up certain aspects of the will that did not cross your mind. You’ll want to include anything of value – both financially and personally – in your will.
Do I need a lawyer to create a will?
We highly suggest talking to a wills and probate lawyer about what to include in the document, the purpose of the will, how to write it to ensure validity, and more. It’s important to team with an attorney with such an important document that will affect many lives.