Probate & Trust

Probate & Trust

Do I Need a Will?

January 30, 2017

This is a question I hear all the time. “Do I need a will?” The answer a resounding “maybe.” The better question is, “Do I need a plan?” and the answer is a for sure “YES!” A will might be the only planning you need, or it might be only a small part of your plan. There might even be a way to accomplish your goals without a will at all. Meeting with an estate planning attorney is the first step to determining whether you need a will.

Wills tend to be the cornerstone of any estate plan. However, there are lots of misconceptions around wills. The biggest is that wills avoid probate. That could not be more wrong. A will is essentially a roadmap through probate. That’s right, if you don’t go through probate, your will basically does nothing.

Now that said, it’s still important for many people to have a will. If you have young children, the only way in Missouri to name a guardian for those kids if something happens to you is in a valid will. Additionally, you can name someone to be in charge of any money that a minor child inherits from you. So, if you have a child or children, you absolutely need a will.

Another reason to have a will is that sometimes things just slip through the cracks. If an asset needs to go through probate, your will can ensure that the probate process is as efficient as possible. Your will also controls who inherits from you and who will be in charge of your estate. If you don’t make these decisions for yourself, the court and Missouri statutes will do it for you. If you want to exercise your right to name your own beneficiaries and executor/personal representative, you need a will.

If you’re wondering whether you need a will, contact Jones & Ueligger Law and schedule an appointment to speak with me. Within 45 minutes, you will leave my office knowing if you need to do anything. That’s a small investment of time to achieve LOTS of peace of mind.