Should I have a Will?
Married or single, widowed or divorced, everyone over the age of 18 should have a legal will. Having a legal will is the only certainty you have of giving personal property, land and money to the people that you choose after you have died.
It is a common misconception that if you die without making a will your assets and personal belongings will be passed automatically to your spouse, partner or children. They may get less than what you had hoped or expected due to the laws governing how an estate is to be distributed where a person does not make a will. These are known as the laws of intestacy and they vary from state to state.
Making a will, therefore, is an essential step if you want to ensure that an executor of your choice distributes your estate in the way you actually want after your death. An executor is the person legally charged with carrying out the terms of your will.
Making a will is also important as it allows you to provide for minor children, a disabled person or even protect a beneficiary who may become bankrupt. In the case of minor children, you may provide in your will that until the beneficiary becomes of age, your executor may use the beneficiary’s entitlement for the advancement of the beneficiary’s health maintenance and education. Under the terms of a will, a person you know and trust may be appointed to serve as the guardian of any minor children. Appointing guardians in this manner minimises disruptions and stress for your children and family.
The importance of drawing a will to help ensure the future security of your loved ones cannot be underestimated.