Estate planning
Why is Making a Will Important?

Why is Making a Will Important?


Jennifer Mcgee


Updated on  

March 17, 2023

4 minutes


Do you think it would be right to say that the thought of leaving your loved ones behind is not very pleasant?

Well, as grim as it might sound, this is the harsh reality of life. It is uncertain and full of mishappenings. You can never know about the next day but can only prepare for a safe future for your loved ones after you're gone. After all, you'd just want them to remember the good times and memories rather than being in sorrow. That's why preparation for your family and loved ones' future should be an essential step in your life.

What can happen if you die without a Last Will?

Fighting over your assets or guardianship of your kids in court would snatch all the happiness away. Without any direction from you, figuring out what to do with everything you left behind and a way to take care of your dependents would create turmoil.

EVEN IF you think that no such situation would arise and you pass away without a Will – there would be no avoiding the expensive and lengthy process of probate, which would fall on your family. Not only would these be taxing on them financially, but they also affect their mental health. 

The solution?

It's really very simple. Create an online Will and outline what you would want the future to look like. We could understand this better with an example:

Let's say your name is Dave. This document should answer the question, "What would Dave have wanted?" with anything and anyone concerned. This includes your assets like a house, bank account, business, vehicle, or any valuables like paintings, watches, jewelry, etc. Making a last will and testament would also help you assign legal guardians for your kids and assign a new home for your pets and adult dependents.

Not convinced yet? Keep reading as we dive deeper into the reasons why you should create a Last Will and Testament. 

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Time, Money, and Comfort of Your Loved Ones

Without a Will, your state court will follow intestacy laws for probate. These intestacy laws varied from state to state and were drafted decades ago based on how they believed people would like their assets to be passed down the line.

"Probate is a legal process that administers the distribution of a deceased person's assets."

This is usually very time-consuming and expensive, not to mention the mental toll it will take on your family.

Creating and leaving a Last Will and Testament behind gives direction not only to your loved ones but also to the legal system during probate. It will streamline the entire process, reducing the time and money spent, as well as ensure that your and your family's best interests are kept in mind.

Pick The Person Who Would Manage Your Estate

While making your Will, an important decision to make is who to appoint as the executor.

"Executor is the person who is responsible for carrying out the directions you have outlined in your Will."

Without a Last Will, you're leaving this decision to the state court, which would assign a person to be the Administrator and be in charge of distributing your assets after the final decision has been made. 

This person is also responsible for carrying out all the legal formalities from start to finish. That is why it's important for you to decide on a person who you can trust for this role.

Decide Who should NOT get your assets and who should

You've worked tremendously hard to get to where you are today. Do you think it would be right to say that only you should decide how your estate should be passed on?

Without a Last Will and testament, the state decides how and to whom your assets go. The court does not know your family dynamics and hence might make a decision that you would not have wanted. 

There's not much that could be done in this situation because intestacy laws will be strictly followed. But with a Last Will and Testament in place, the state will only follow the instructions that you have penned down.

Secure your children's and dependent's future 

Your partner or surviving parent would usually get legal custody of your children. However, in a situation where they've also passed away, you have the ability to appoint a legal guardian for your kids through your Last Will.

  • Without a Last Will, the court would ask for someone in your family to volunteer to be the guardian. 
  • In case no one volunteers or is incapable of raising your kids, the state would take their custody and put them in the foster care system.

If you're a parent, make sure to take this decision carefully, you would not want someone who you would not have chosen to raise your kids. The same applies to any adult dependents who rely on you.

A Few Other Things A Will Can Do For You:

  • Assign a new home for your pets
  • Pass on your social media accounts & digital assets
  • Reduce the risk of future legal disputes within your family
  • Support a charity or even your alma mater
  • Define your final wishes – Funeral/ cremation instruction

You Know Its Importance, What Now?

If you thought that your assets would be fairly distributed amongst your loved ones automatically once you're gone – you might be getting second thoughts after reading this.

Don't worry; creating an online Last Will is really quite simple, and getting it done will give you one less thing to worry about.

With modern estate planning platforms, you can create a legally binding, state-specific Will, which is cost-effective and can be done from anywhere! Even while you're lounging around at home! Create an online last will now and learn more about how to make estate planning less complicated!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What would happen if someone passes away without a will?

The state's intestacy laws will be followed if someone dies without a will. The interested parties, like the spouse or children, would have to go through a probate process to get their share in the estate.

Do I need a lawyer to make my last will and testament?

There's generally no need to get a lawyer to make your will. You could use an online platform and easily make it within minutes. Only some special cases, like complex family relations, may require you to consult an attorney.

What would happen to my estate if I had no immediate family?

If you create a will before you pass away, your estate will go to the beneficiaries you've mentioned. However, if you die without a will, it could go to your extended family or even the state if there are no relatives.

Does my will dispose of all my assets?

A will would only dispose of the assets mentioned in it. You could decide which assets go to whom. However, it's always better to mention all your assets.

Can I decide who would look after my minor children in my will?

Yes, you should name a person as the guardian of your children in your will. It would help avoid any hassles, and they could look after your kids after you pass away.
Jennifer Mcgee
Parent to five young children. Estate Planning, Probate, and Family Law Attorney. Volunteer with Victim’s Advocates in the local sheriff's department...
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Jennifer Mcgree
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