What Is a Will?
A will, often referred to as a “Last Will and Testament,” is a legal document that allows an individual to designate what will happen with their possessions and assets when they die, who will be responsible for taking care of their affairs and distributing their assets and possessions, who will care for their children, and several other decisions that may need to be made following the individual’s death. Wills are often used in conjunction with other estate planning documents such as trusts.
Everyone Should Have a Current Will
At Mountain Wills and Trusts, we believe that everyone should have a Last Will and Testament. If a person does not have a will, decisions about their assets, who will care for their minor children, and other important matters will be determined by state law and may end up in the courts. In addition, over time people’s estate planning needs and goals can change dramatically. Laws regarding estate taxes and other estate matters can change, too. Older wills frequently need to be updated to fit in with these changes.
Even People With Small Estates Need A Will
Even an estate with limited assets benefits from a Last Will and Testament. Without a will or other estate planning in place, the individual’s assets will likely still go through the probate process (where the courts have to administer the estate). In addition, not having a will means that the individual gives up the power to designate who will make the decisions about how their affairs will be taken care of.
Not having a will or having an inadequate will can result in bitter fights between surviving family members over small amounts of money, personal property, and items that may have great sentimental value. With a properly drafted and effective will, we can reduce the likelihood of costly court battles and bad feelings between family members.
An Opportunity to Provide for Loved Ones
Absent other estate planning, the “Last Will and Testament” truly is the individual’s final say. The individual creating the will has the opportunity to leave behind a legacy or plan for their loved ones and to do it in a way that will reduce the chances of conflict and make things easier for those left behind during the difficult time when they have lost a loved one.