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A Will: why you should have one

The sad reality is that, despite the time and financial benefits associated with creating a will and the headaches that can be avoided during probate for people involved following the death of a loved one, many Americans still do not have a will.

A will guarantees that your wishes are granted and your estate and property is distributed as you wish following your death. It also helps minimize any disagreements or arguments between your family and friends when it comes to your estate. In addition, you may disinherit those who otherwise may have been awarded a portion of your estate. Your will also can be used to designate gifts and donations to organizations or charities that may otherwise have been overlooked. The will's purpose is to make certain that your entire estate gets divided up per your personal wishes and no one else.

A will may also designate who takes care of any minor children you have, in the event of your death. Without a will, courts make this decision. Wills also help minimize estate taxes, as gifts given away to family and charity will not be taken into consideration when valuing your estate for estate taxes.

Benjamin Franklin once said that there were only two certainties in life, death and taxes. No one can avoid either, nor do we know when it is our time to go. With that in mind, it is in everyone's best interest to create a will to make certain that your wishes are met, and that the process is as painless as possible when the time comes.

Source: By findlaw.com, "Top Ten Reasons to Have a Will," Accessed on Dec. 28, 2015

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