6 Reasons Why It’s Important to Have a Will

A last will and testament is a legal document that specifies how a person’s assets and property should be distributed after their death. It may also include instructions for any minor children and/or specific bequests to individuals or organizations. The will is typically executed (signed and witnessed) by the person making the will (the testator) and is legally binding after the testator’s death.

A will is not a document that should be done once and then never reviewed again. Quite the contrary, it’s something that should be reviewed on a periodic basis to ensure that it’s up to date with the goals and wishes that you have for your overall estate. Our experienced estate planning attorneys can provide you with the insight and guidance that you need to put together an estate that helps you to meet those goals.

What Happens If You Die Without a Will?

If a person dies without a will, they are said to have died “intestate.” When this happens, the laws of the state in which the person resided will determine how their assets and property are distributed. This process is known as “intestate succession” or “the laws of intestacy.” Generally, the assets will be distributed to the person’s closest living relatives, such as their spouse and children. If the person has no living relatives, their assets will typically go to the state.

Without a will, it’s not always clear who should inherit what. Also, the court may appoint a guardian for any minor children, which may not be the person the deceased would have chosen. In addition, the process of distributing assets can be more time-consuming and costly than if there were a will.

6 Reasons Why It’s Critical to have a Will

There are several reasons why it’s important that you develop a last will and testament. Although our team will speak with you more when it comes to the specifications regarding your estate plan, here are just a few examples of reasons why it’s essential to have a will:

1. Control over asset distribution: Having a will allows a person to specify how they want their assets and property to be distributed after their death. Without a will, assets will be distributed according to state laws, which may not align with a person’s wishes.

2. Guardianship of minor children: A will allows a person to appoint a guardian for their minor children, ensuring that their children will be taken care of by someone they trust.

3. Avoiding probate: A will can help to avoid probate, the legal process of distributing a person’s assets after their death. A will can also reduce the time and costs associated with probate.

4. Avoiding family disputes: A will can help to avoid disputes among family members over a person’s assets and property. If a person’s wishes are clearly stated in a will, it can reduce the likelihood of family conflicts.

5. Avoiding intestacy: If a person dies without a will, their assets will be distributed according to state laws, which may not align with the person’s wishes. Having a will ensures that a person’s assets will be distributed according to their wishes.

6. Planning for incapacity: A will can also be used to plan for the possibility of incapacity, by appointing someone to make decisions on the behalf of the testator if they become incapacitated.

If you’re ready to put together a Will, we encourage you to get in touch with us to schedule your appointment with our team. We will provide you with the personalized attention that you need to ensure your estate planning goals are met. Call Lepore Law at 718-354-8646 and we would be happy to schedule a consultation.