Many assume that if they pass away leaving family behind, their family will take care of their affairs and they don’t need a Last Will and Testament. Generally speaking, failing to plan means planning to fail. While every case is unique, most people DO need a will. Here are some important considerations.
A Will establishes who will be responsible for your affairs and/or your funeral. If you don’t have a Will, there may be confusion about who will do this and how your estate will be distributed. A Will can also you to prevent your personal representative from have to post a bond to probate your estate.
A parent with a minor child needs a Will to appoint a guardian for the child if the other parent is unavailable. A Will enables the inheritance to be invested profitably. Without a Will, the funds will be deposited in the Surrogate’s Intermingled Trust Fund. The funds will be invested at bank rates until the child reaches majority, which could be years. During that period, the child’s parent or guardian cannot withdraw the funds without a court order.
Business owners need a Will, to wind up the business and to protect their family.
Your Will allows you to control what happens to your property after your lifetime. Unless you state otherwise through beneficiary designations and/or your trust or Will, the law of intestate succession will control who gets your estate.