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4 Out of 10 Americans Don’t Think They Need a Will: They’re Wrong!

Writing A Will: Why You Need A Will

A Will is a legal document informing the court and other parties how to handle your assets if and when you die. It is a set of directions, guiding principles and steps that the court and your family members follow to honor your wishes. It also helps to protect those you love. So, why is it then that 40% of people in the US believe they do not need a will?

Consider the Statistics: 4 out of 10!

In the Wills & Estate Planning Study conducted by Caring.com, researchers talked to 2400 American adults. They found that just 32% of people have a Will. That is the lowest rate since 2020. The statistics get even deeper.

A large component of people – about 35% – stated they don’t feel they need a Will because they do not have a lot of assets. They also noted that without assets, the effort and cost of getting a Will did not seem important. It is not just low-income Americans who feel this way, though. Of those who are earning over $80,000 per year, one in four said they do not have the assets to need a Will and leave anything to their heirs.

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Why Not Having a Will Is Treacherous

There are numerous reasons why every person, regardless of wealth or goals, should have a Will. If you do not have one, set up a complimentary consultation with one of our Estate Planning Attorneys to discuss the process. What you will first learn is that it is both affordable and easy to create a Will.

7 Reasons It’s Essential To Have A Will

Consider these reasons why you need a Will:

1. Ensure Someone You Trust Takes Care of Your Child

Your Will provides instructions on what happens to your minor or otherwise dependent child should something happen to you. If you do not make a decision about a Legal Guardian, the court will decide for you. That means that you have no input on the type and level of care provided to your child if you cannot be there to support them.

2. Wills Make it Far Easier for Your Family to Make Decisions

Wills help family members avoid or minimize the impact of probate court – and minimize family stress and arguments at a very difficult time. Probate is not a simple process, and it is quite expensive, with costs levied against your estate. That means any money you would leave to your family is used to pay taxes and fees, and your family gets less..

More so, your family member who is assigned to be the administrator of the estate, then has to try to guess what your wishes are. This is also stressful, especially when they want to ensure your wishes are met, but the administrator is unsure what they are because you had decided that you don’t need a Will. 

3. You Name Who Makes Decisions for Your Estate

Another core benefit to utilizing a Will is that it enables you to make decisions about who will manage the distribution of your assets and estate. You may not want your next of kin to do so, but perhaps a good friend or a different family member. In your Will you have the ability to name whomever you wish.

If you do not name an executor of your estate in your Will, the court is tasked with naming the person for you. Since this person will make huge decisions about your estate that directly impact your family, it is best that you maintain the ability to choose who does this. Who do you want to make decisions about your assets and oversee the distribution of your estate?

4. Decide What Happens to Your Assets

A Will also gives you the ability to decide what occurs with your assets. Even if you do not feel you have much to distribute, chances are good you should designate ownership of some of your assets, such as:

  • Family heirlooms or meaningful items
  • Valuable assets
  • Your home (it may not be paid off now, but it could be worth more later)
  • Digital assets or control over  those digital assets (such as your social media accounts, websites, videos and photos)

If you think you do not have specific items you wish to leave to someone and therefore don’t need a Will, reconsider this carefully. For example, you may not want an ex to receive any share of your estate after your death. Clarify this within your Will to ensure there is no risk of the wrong person receiving what you worked hard to build.

5. Reduce the Risk of Family Disputes

These are the hard-earned assets that you spent a lifetime accumulating and guarding. You have the right to make key decisions about them. When you create a legally binding Will, your family members know what you want done with your things – and why. This will limit and family fighting over who gets what. While that may seem very petty right now, especially if you do not feel you own a lot of assets, hard feelings over a loved one’s assets can destroy families.

6. Support What Means the Most to You

A Will allows you to explain your thoughts and preferences about the money or assets you leave behind. You may know that your children do not need your inheritance, for example. However, you know that a local charity that you are passionate about needs those funds. You can use your Will to explain what your wishes are, and why you made your decisions.

7. Provide Funeral Instructions

For those who have specific wishes for afterlife or those who want to alleviate these decisions from a family member’s conscience, a Will or Letter of Instructions that is opened before your Will can provide details on what your funeral preferences are and who should pay for them. 

Discuss things that are important to you, such as where you are buried or your final message, with your family and the Executor of your estate.

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Do You Need A Will?
Call THE South Florida Estate Planning Attorneys – The Siegel Law Group

Working with experienced, knowledgeable and caring Estate Planning Attorneys gives you Peace Of Mind. Do not wait any longer to set up a free consultation to discuss why you need a Will that protects your family and your wishes. Call our office at 561-576-6206 to schedule a complimentary consultation, or submit our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

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