Top 5 Reasons to Have a Will

A will, combined with a complete estate plan, is one of the most important documents you will ever need. Although most people think of a will simply as a way to pass out their possessions, a will acts as a complete blueprint of how your affairs should be managed when you pass away.

Here are 5 of the most important reasons to have a will for New Jersey residents:

  1. Avoid Disputes by Describing How Assets Will Be Distributed
    One of the most important reasons to have a will is to document how you would like to have your estate distributed. Without a will, you cannot be sure how your estate will be distributed. By having a clear and orderly plan defined, not only will your wishes be carried out, but you can also reduce your family’s stress and prevent fights between family members over your belongings.
  2. Arrange for the Care of Your Spouse, Minor Children, & Family

    Another important reason to have a will is to declare who will take care of your children in
    the event you die. Without a will, a court may be left to decide who is best suited to take care of your kids. The court may choose to place the children with a family member, or it may appoint a special guardian. Similarly, if you have a spouse who requires special care, you may be able to use your will and estate plan to provide special instructions for him or her as well.
  3. Select Who Will Serve as an Executor
    An executor is the person who will be responsible for ensuring that all your affairs are in order. This includes tasks such as closing out bank accounts, paying off outstanding debts, selling estate assets, and properly distributing property from the estate. Because of the important role an executor plays, most people often choose a trusted, honest, and well-organized friend or family member to serve as their executor.
  4. Minimize Estate Taxes
    Like death, taxes are one of life’s few guarantees. By having a properly executed will and a complete estate plan, you may be able to take advantage of certain New Jersey estate tax exemptions. This may require that a trust or other legal mechanism be used, but it will help preserve the value of your estate so that more of your assets can be distributed to your family or to charitable organizations rather than going to the government.
  5. Tomorrow Is Not Guaranteed
    Unfortunately, death is inevitable. Nobody can be certain of when they will pass away. Planning ahead today will allow you and your family to be prepared for the worst case scenario.

In order to make sure that your will is legally valid, it must meet certain formalities. An attorney can help you make sure that your will is properly drafted and executed. If you would like to create a will and estate plan, or would like to have your current estate plan updated, please contact the attorneys at Tagliente & Shah today for assistance.