Jun 13, 2013

To all those who don't have a Will: If you die intestate, your estate goes through probate court and your assets are distributed according to the State Intestacy Statutes. If the deceased had minor children, the judge in probate decides the guardianship.

What is a Will?

A Will is a legal document indicating your wishes on how your assets are to be divided up upon your death. The assets that can be included can range from property you own such as a home or a car and also any bank accounts and mutual fund shares. Any jointly owned property with rights of survivorship automatically pass over to the other joint owner.

Do- It- Yourself vs. Hiring a Lawyer

Although you are legally allowed to draft your own Will it is not recommended for a multitude of reasons. Some states require certain language and witness provisions to be included in the Will without which it can be deemed to be invalid. In the event that you would like to draft your own Will, at the very least it should be reviewed by a lawyer.

How often should you update your Will?

Your Will should be reviewed every five to six years as well as after any major life events such as getting remarried, divorced, or if one of the beneficiaries in the Will has passed away. Any changes made to the Will should also be reviewed by a lawyer to assure that the content adheres to current laws.