This question gets a resounding YES. No matter what your financial status is, having a Will is necessary to give YOU the control of what happens to your family and your “stuff” in the event of your death and gives your appointee(s) a smooth process in order to effectuate your wishes.
If you have children having a Will is not only necessary but should be a priority. Declaring a Guardian for your children under the age of 18, or special needs adults under your care are very important. If you fail to do so, and both parents pass without a written intent there could be issues with the relatives (or friends) you assumed would gain custody, they may not —there also could be placement delays. Having a Will could not only save thousands of dollars in court fees, but it will also streamline the process and reduce heartache all around so your children are placed with the relative that you would have wanted them to be placed with –expeditiously. The flip side is perhaps there’s a relative you don’t want raising your kids –nominating a Guardian in a Will can avoid that occurrence.
As a practical matter, without a Will, your belongings may go to people who you don’t want to have them. One reason folks often give for not writing down their last wishes is that they “don’t have anything of value” to pass on when they die. Usually, they are surprised with what assets they do have that need direction. Most commonly –a checking account, retirement fund, vehicle or other belongings that can be passed on to friends and relatives. Having a Will also gives you an opportunity to nominate a Personal Representative, someone that you trust that will handle settling your estate and/or undertake a number of important duties when you pass.
I meet with people every day to discuss Wills and other Estate Planning documents, call to schedule if you want answers specific to your situation.
Heidi S. Webb, Attorney at Law serves clients in Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, Port Orange, Melbourne and beyond with matters of Elder Law, Estate Planning, and Probate Law. Contact her today to schedule a free consultation. Visit her page on Facebook, or see what her clients are saying to learn more about Heidi.