A quick surveillance of various online sources reveals a shocking, yet unsurprising fact: most people do not have a Will.
Despite the general consensus that a Will is one of the most important documents that an adult should have, most avoid the idea of contemplating death and associate having a Will with just that–death. Even though our eventual passing is inevitable, for some reason writing down our postmortem wishes is unnerving.
But . . . this fear needs to be confronted and beaten down. For the sake of our families and loved ones, we need to have Wills. Especially in this day and age when lawsuits are plentiful and Wills are inexpensive to obtain in Virginia. Here are a few simple reasons why you should have a Will:
1. A Will protects your estate from being the foundation for unnecessary and unwanted family turmoil.
- There is much uncertainty in the minds of friends and family when a loved one passes. While the emotional concerns are always overwhelming, so too are the monetary concerns. And often, as you have undoubtedly seen or read about, families take to the Courtrooms to battle over estate distribution.
- While a Will does not eliminate the possibility of family feuds, it is certainly a deterrent. With a Will you are telling your heirs what your wishes are, and asking them to honor those wishes. This is particularly important in situations where there are mixed family dynamics—i.e. children from separate relationships.
2. A Will gives you the power to determine who will look after your minor children, and their finances.
- Every parent with a minor child should have a will—end of story (especially, persons who are married and have children from a separate relationship, regardless of age). Nominate your predecessor, don’t leave it to chance.
- While Americans often appoint “godparents”, it is not often written in legal stone. A Will can help clarify your wishes as it pertains to care for your children—not just physically, but financially as well.
3. A Will gives you the power to choose who will handle the distribution of your estate.
- Frequently in dispute is which heir should help administrate an estate when there is no Will. This is problematic in families where the living heirs have strained relationships.
- A Will gives you the opportunity to nominate the person (or persons) you’d like to be executor of your will—the person you trust to ensure that your wishes are carried out.
4. A Will gives you the power to provide financial support to multiple generations.
- If you die without a Will, the intestacy laws in Virginia will operate to dictate the distribution of your estate. Your heirs have no ability to creatively distribute your assets and your wishes will most likely be unknown and, therefore, not carried out.
- With a Will you can ensure that your children and grandchildren share in your estate—even your great-grandchildren and their heirs.
5. A Will is easy and affordable to obtain.
- Drafting a Will is neither time consuming, nor expensive. The hard part is figuring out, for yourself, what you want the Will to say. An attorney can help you through the process.
The experienced attorneys at BoykoNapier are available to speak with you about preparing a Will, Power of Attorney, and Advanced Medical Directive. Call us today at (804) 658-3418, or contact us via email.