Do I Really Need a Will?

Planning & Saving
on March 26, 2013

A will is a legal document that states a person’s wishes as to how his or her assets are to be distributed. While many people may feel that they do not have enough assets to require a will, the simple truth is that everyone who has children or owns anything of value needs to have a will. For those with minor children, having a will is an absolute necessity. The will is used to specify who should become the guardian of the children in the event that the parent dies. Without a will, the decision would be left to the court and could potentially cause a long and expensive legal battle between family members and other concerned parties.

A person who has any assets should also have a will to specify who will receive those assets. Though some states restrict how assets can be divided, such as requiring that a certain percentage of the estate be left to a surviving spouse, the will is still the most important document in determining asset allocation. As with the custody of children, a person who dies without a will may create a legal battle that will be both time consuming and expensive for the parties involved.

In fact, the costs of a legal battle between parties over the children or assets of the estate would result in considerable costs, not only for the litigants, but for the estate as well. The court would appoint an attorney to represent the estate’s interest in court. The costs for this attorney’s services would far exceed the minimal cost of a creating a will, making the decision to not have a will more costly than having one.

The good news is that for those who do not have a large estate or a complex inheritance issue, the process of getting a will is both quick and inexpensive. Wills can be obtained from both online providers as well as from an attorney. If changes are needed in the future, this can be done very simply whether the will was created online or in an attorney’s office. Due to the low cost of getting and maintaining a will, there is no reason for anyone to not have this important document.

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