Who Needs a Will?
It appears there has been a big push in recent years to encourage people to get their affairs in order. After all, many people — even celebrities with millions of dollars in assets — fail to have an estate plan in place. They die with no will, leaving family members scratching their heads, wondering what to do next. How do they administer the estate?
There is a lot of debate about who needs a will and who does not. The truth is that almost any adult can benefit from having a will in place. In rare cases, a will may not be necessary, but for the most part, it is a good idea. Here is a look at situations in which you should definitely get a will, as well as some cases where you may be OK without one.
When You Do Need a Will
You should strongly consider getting a will if any of the following apply:
- You are married. When you are married, your spouse is closely tied to you. Therefore, you should put into writing what they should and should not receive upon your death. This is especially important if you have children, because if you die with both a spouse and children, then all of them will inherit from you unless you have a will that says otherwise. Don’t leave anything to chance. Have a will in place.
- You have children. Even if you aren’t married, if you have kids, you need to have a will. If your kids are minors, you need a will that includes the name of a guardian for them in the event you should die while they are still minors.
- You have assets/positive net worth. If you are single and don’t have kids, but you do have assets, then you should have a will. A will is good for showing how your assets will be distributed to family members, friends, or charities. If you have more than $100,000 in assets, then consider a living trust, which goes into effect right after it’s signed.
When You Do Not Need a Will
Not everyone needs a will. For example, if you’re single and have no children or assets, then a will is not a necessity right now. Also, you do not need a will if your assets have beneficiary designations, such as life insurance or retirement accounts. But if you’re not sure, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Contact Judy A. Oxford, Attorney at Law
Most people can benefit from a will to distribute assets upon their death. Whether you are in your 20s or your 80s, it’s never too late to get started.
Judy A. Oxford, Attorney at Law, can help you with your estate planning, administration, and probate needs. I will help you come up with a will, trust, or other estate plan documents that fit your needs. Call (615) 791-8511 to schedule a consultation today.