A Will is often said to be a cornerstone of any estate plan. The main purpose of a Will is to disburse property to heirs and beneficiaries after your death. If you die without a Will, disbursements will be made according to state law, which might be contrary to your wishes.
There are two other equally important aspects of a Will:
- You can name the person (executor/executrix or personal representative) who will manage and settle your estate in accordance with your written instructions. If you do not name someone the court will appoint an administrator who might be someone you do not know or is someone you would not have chosen.
- You can name a legal guardian for minor children or dependents with special needs. If you do not appoint a guardian, the court will appoint one on your behalf. Again, this may be someone you may not have chosen.
A Will is a legal document, and the courts are very reluctant to overturn any provisions within it. Therefore, it is critical your Will be property prepared, your wishes are clearly articulated, and it is executed in accordance with your state’s law.
Note: Like all estate planning documents, circumstances change over time. You should review these documents every few years to ensure they still accurately reflect your estate and the disposition of your assets.