I hear it all the time from young and seasoned alike. "I really don't
own anything. I don't need a Will. I'm not rich, so a Will is
a waste of money." Nothing could be further from the truth. I firmly
believe that anyone age 18 or over should have a Last Will and Testament.
Even if you believe that you have no significant assets, the point of
a Will is to designate and direct those assets you do have. This provides
you the ability to direct who gets what and it eliminates the possibility
of any ill feelings which could arise from those who are be entitled to
inherit your assets and those who believe they are entitled to inherit
and are not.
It is a common misconception that the State or the government will take
your property if you do not have a Will. There is a long list provided
in the laws for family members to inherit from you before the government
appears on the list in the very last position. The list does not cover
anyone who is not related to you, so if you wish to leave something to
a non-blood relative or non-spouse, it is vital that you do so by Will.
One who dies with a Will is said to die testate. One who dies without
a Will dies intestate. The list of relatives providing the specific order
of inheritance if you die without a Will is the Intestate Distribution
Schedule. The legislature has set a schedule for those who do not make
a Will. It is always better advised to set your own schedule by making
your own Will and checking on it every few years to make sure it still
says what you want it to say.
What is really involved in making a Will? It takes about a half hour to
an hour meeting in our offices and having a conversation with an attorney.
You do not need to bring all of your financial records unless you have
a specific question. You do not need to bring your tax returns. Remember
that anything you speak about with an attorney you have hired is privileged
and confidential. Generally, you and your address book or smart phone
should be enough to get the job done on getting a Will together and you
will definitely feel better about yourself, your property, and of course
your loved ones when you are finished.