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Do I Really Need to Have a Will?

Many people are under the mistaken belief that executing a will or creating an estate plan is only for the wealthy or the elderly. The truth is, if you care at all about what happens to your assets, or if you just want to save your friends and family the trouble of dealing with the problems that arise with dying intestate, having a will is a good start.

We have discussed wills in the past, but as a brief reminder, it may be useful to discuss some of the basic things that can be accomplished by a will. First, creating a will gives you the opportunity to appoint a personal representative or executor. This is important because you are probably the one in the best position to choose whom you would trust or want to carry out the provisions contained in your will. If you die without a will, the person administering your estate could be a family member, a friend, or even one of your creditors.

Another advantage to having a will is that it gives you an opportunity to designate someone you trust to care for any minor children or pets you might have. Establishing a guardian for your children also involves appointing someone to manage any assets or money you leave the children until they reach the age of maturity.

Finally, a will provides a good place for you to distribute your possessions and various assets to those that will most appreciate them. Without a will, your possessions will pass through the intestacy rules and may end up going to someone that either doesn't want them or can't use them. While you can't be assured your loved ones won't fight over a will, it may help put to rest any claims about who was promised a specific item.

If you don't have a will or a full estate plan, you should at least consider putting one together. These items don't have to be overly complex, but these documents can get tricky, so it is wise to consult with an attorney to create your estate planning documents.

Source: Mainstreet.com, Don't Leave Earth Without This!

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