You may have heard that everyone should have a will. While it certainly can’t hurt there are people who absolutely should have a will. And some others who maybe could get by without one right now. Let’s take a look to see what category you fit into.
Wills Are for People Who Are Rich and Wealthy.
Not necessarily. Anyone who has a positive net worth should probably have a will. Your net worth is the value of your assets minus your liabilities. It has nothing to do with your income. Your savings, investments, and debts combine to calculate your net worth. And this is something that may fluctuate.
If you have been saving for retirement or putting money into a rainy day fund your net worth will increase. Likewise, if you are paying down your mortgage, car loan, student loans, etc. your net worth will also increase.
Are You Married? You Need a Will.
Traditionally your spouse will inherit your things even if you die without a will. But you shouldn’t leave this up to chance. Make sure your spouse is protected. This is especially important if this is not your first marriage and there are children involved.
Additionally, if you want someone other than your wife to receive something it needs to be in writing. Don’t count on people to “do the right thing” after you are gone.
Do You Have Kids?
You absolutely need a will. Your kids are likely to inherit your things if you die intestate, after your spouse, but not necessarily. This means that if you want your kids to inherit after your spouse, then you need to put that in writing. This way there is no room for a different interpretation by the courts. Additionally, if you don’t want one of (or all of) your kids to inherit, then that needs to be in writing.
My guess is you have strong feelings about whether you want your children to inherit your estate. Having a will in place will ensure that the decision is being made by you, not the state.
When your children are young having a will allows you to name a guardian for your children. You will also be able to name an executor. This will determine how your children are raised and how the assets will be divided among them.
Revisit Your Will Each Year
It is important to review your will yearly and make changes as necessary. If you have another child your will may need to be updated. Likewise, a divorce or a new marriage will require updates to your current will.
But I Am Broke!
If you are young, broke and don’t have kids you may not need a will. At least not yet. But if you get married, have children or inherit some money you will want to get a will.
Do you need a will? Contact The Hilbun Law Firm for a consultation. 281-955-9292