How Essential Is a Will?

As soon as you turn 18 years old, you are eligible to make out a will. You can then review and revise it as often as necessary to be sure that it is up-to-date and accurately reflects your wishes.

According to CNN Money, a will is one of the most essential documents in your estate plan. Even if you have other estate planning documents, you should still have a will.

Do you need a will if you also have a trust?

Even if you have a trust to set conditions on the distribution of certain assets after you die, it is still useful to have a will. If there are assets that you want to put in the trust but fail to retitle before you die, the will can ensure that your representative carries out your wishes. A will is also helpful if your estate contains property that does not go into the trust. This is a common occurrence because many types of trusts only hold certain assets.

What else can a will do?

If you are a parent with children under the age of 18, you have a responsibility to name a guardian to take care of them if you die. While there may be other ways to accomplish this, a will is the most effective means. A decision this important is not one you want to leave to chance.

What happens if you do not have a will?

Whatever probate property your estate contains when you die becomes the responsibility of the court. A judge distributes it according to the state’s laws of intestacy. Because there is no way of knowing for sure what you would have wanted without a will, this distribution does not take your wishes into consideration.

A will does not have to be your only estate planning document, but in most cases, it is one of the most essential.