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Why You Need to Create a Will

Updated: Jun 4, 2020

There are a lot of reasons to put off creating your will.


Creating a will takes time and effort, you have to hire a lawyer or go through the sometimes complicated process of making your own, and typically the need does not feel that pressing. It feels like something you need to get done... but maybe in the future.

 

Despite the ease of putting a will off it is important to create a one. Doing so will protect not only your interests but more importantly your loved ones interests, when you die.


Before we talk about why you need a will though, it is important to understand what a will is.





Last Will and Testament:


A will is a legal document. This document sets out 1) any wishes you have regarding the distribution of your property and 2) the care of any minor children.


The most common type of will is a testamentary will. To create a testamentary will, the prepared document must be signed in the presence of witnesses. The presence of witnesses will protect the will against challenges to your wishes by family members or business associates after you die.


A will, like a testamentary will, lets you direct how your belongings will be distributed at your death. This includes bank balances, personal property, your prized stamp collection, etc. If you own a business or have investments a will can specify who will receive those assets. Essentially anything you own can be included in your will with instructions for distribution after your death.


While a will can be challenged by those who survive you, a properly executed will should protect your interests after you are dead and ensure your property goes to those you love.


Reasons Why to Create a Will:


1. Avoid intestacy


First and foremost, you should create a will to avoid intestacy. When you die without a will, it is called dying “intestate” and the State of Missouri will then oversee the distribution of your assets and property.


This is done according to a set formula. A set formula that may or may not reflect your interests.


And if your children are minors, the court will appoint a representative to look after their interests.


Intestacy can make the life of those who you intend your property to pass to, more difficult, and your belongings may end up going to somewhere you do not want them to go.


Creating a will is easy and well worth doing to avoid intestacy.


2. Choose who takes care of your children


If your children are minors, a will allows you to choose who will take care of your children in the unfortunate event that you pass away. If you do not have a will the court will decide who will raise your children from either your relatives or a state-appointed guardian.





3. Choose who will execute your will


When you create a will you choose your representative and that person will make sure all of your affairs are in order. This will include paying off debts, closing bank accounts, and more.


This is a big responsibility and one you want to give to a person you trust. You want your executor to have your best interests at heart.


If you do not have a will you are trusting the court system, and someone you have likely never even met, with that responsibility. But when you appoint a personal representative, you both get to choose who distributes your will and have the confidence provided by the fiduciary duty owed by that representative to your beneficiaries.


4. You can always change your mind


You can alter your will until the day you die. And altering a will is a fairly simple process. If you create a will now, you can alter that will as you choose, until you pass away, so long as you follow the correct procedure to do so.


5. Peace of Mind


A will is something everyone needs, but something no one really likes to think about (no one wants to spend a prolonged period of time thinking about their own mortality). But once you have your will taken care of, you do not have to worry about it again and you can rest easy knowing that your interests will be protected after you die.


Creating a will with Hometown Law is affordable and easy, contact us if you have any questions or if you would like to start work on your will today.


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