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Do I need a Will?

By Priya Patel 

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way…”.

Most everyone knows the importance of having a Will. It is the instrument used for an individual to determine what happens to their assets at the time of their death, but a Will also helps pave the way for those you leave behind. It does not matter what your financial status looks like, or who you have as heirs, everyone needs a Will to help simplify the process for your loved ones. 

Here are the top reasons why you should have a Will: 

  1. You can be the decision-maker. If executed correctly, a Will is a legally binding document that lets you determine how you want your assets to be distributed upon your death. If someone dies without a Will, state law mandates how your assets are distributed, with little to no say from your loved ones.
  2. You can determine guardianship. By making a Will, you can determine who you would like to take care of your minor child(ren). This is a hard, but important decision that needs to be made by all parents. Providing a guardian and a back-up guardian will ensure stability in your minor child’s life during an uncertain time. 
  3. You can establish trusts. Within a Will, an individual may wish to create a trust for his/her beneficiaries. A trust holds property on someone else’s behalf. In Wills, trusts are commonly established for minor children, so that someone else can manage the children’s money until they reach a certain age when their parents believe they will be able to manage it. Trusts can be created for various reasons and can be as creative as legally possible. 
  4. You can minimize estate taxes. There are tools available when drafting your Will that will allow for minimizing federal and state inheritance taxes. These methods can be discussed further with an attorney. 
  5. You can make gifts and donations. By making a Will, you are in charge of your legacy. You can use this document to make donations to charitable organizations that reflect your personal values and beliefs, and also leave specific items to specific people. 
  6. You can help your loved ones. A Will is something that empowers you to make decisions regarding your assets after your death, but it does something greater than that for your family. It provides for guidance, a peace of mind, and an easier means to wrap up your estate matters for your family. By creating a Will, you are taking the guess work out of the equation and telling your family exactly what you want. 

Can I still get my Will done in the time of “social distancing”? Yes, of course! Our team of qualified estate attorneys can meet with clients virtually – via teleconference or videoconference – to talk you through all of your needs. After the initial meeting, the attorney will draft your documents and email to you for review. At that time, the attorney can set up a teleconference or videoconference to go through your documents and answer any questions you may have.  Once you are completely satisfied, your attorney can discuss your options to get your documents executed. 

Smith, Welch, Webb & White attorneys are always available to help discuss your estate needs. Contact your local SWWW office, and a qualified attorney will be able to help you with all of your needs whether it be via teleconference, video conference, or in person. 

We are making this post to inform as much as possible.  It is not our intent to give legal advice or to create an attorney/client relationship.  If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney. If you have questions about your particular situation, please give us a call, send us an email, or request a video conference. We’ll be happy to assist.