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  4.  » The Weekly Pulse – The Importance of Having a Will

Last week, we touched on the benefits of having a Trust, the importance of having a Trust, and the different types of Trust that exist. Today, we are presenting the final article in this series informing you of the importance and benefits of having a Will. There are many benefits and reasons to have a Will. If an individual passes away without a Will, probate courts determine how to distribute assets. A detailed Will allows your family and loved ones to be more secure in the case of unexpected illness or untimely death. 

To begin the process of creating a Will, set up an appointment with your trusted elder law attorney at The Law Offices of Marjory Cajoux. A variety of benefits of having a Will can be quickly explained which means you’ll know what to do to protect your family. Let’s begin defining exactly what a Will is. A Will is a legal document that coordinates the distribution of your assets after death and can appoint guardians for minor children. A Will generally includes: 

  • Designation of an executor, who carries out the provisions of the Will. 
  • Beneficiaries – those who are inheriting the assets.
  • Instructions for how and when the beneficiaries will receive the assets.
  • Guardians for any minor children.

While each person’s situation is unique below are some reasons/advantages in having a Will:

    • You decide who will take care of your minor children. A Will allows you to make an informed decision about who should take care of your minor children. Having a Will allows you to appoint the person you want to raise your children and ensure that your child/ children are protected from all undesired individuals.
    • You want to direct the distribution of your assets. Through a Will, you control who receives your property and how it is divided. You can leave specific items to specific persons or leave everything to be divided among specific individuals as well as direct instructions for the disbursements of special items such as jewelry or family heirlooms.
    • You can amend it. Circumstances change hence your Will should be amendable. A good reason for having a Will is that you can change it at any time while you’re still alive. Life changes such as births, deaths, and/ or divorce can create situations necessitate changing your Will.
  • You own real estate. Without a Will, your real estate may be inherited by numerous co-owners, possibly including minors. Ultimately, your property may have to be divided or sold. Having versus not having a Will may also impact your heirs’ ability to sell the property or obtain a mortgage on the property at a later time. Preparing a Will can save your heirs significant expense and trouble later.
  • Leave instructions for your digital assets. Your digital assets may include online accounts such as Facebook or email, and digital files or property (photos, videos, domain names, etc). In your Will, you can name a digital executor to manage these assets after you pass. You can leave them to specific people, and also include information on how you want them managed (i.e. – if you’d like an account closed).
  • Support your favorite causes and leave a legacy. Many people want to leave a positive impact on the world after they pass. A great way to do this is to support the charities or causes you love most. When you write a Will, you can preserve your legacy by leaving a part of your estate to a charitable organization.

Many individuals put off creating or updating their Will because they assume their loved ones will automatically get an inheritance. When you create or update your Will, you can look after your loved one and give them an easy map to follow after you pass. The Law Offices of Marjory Cajoux has years of experience assisting people with all aspects of Estate Planning, from Trusts and Wills to Estate Administration and Probate. We can help you walk through the entire process and answer all your questions about securing your future and the future of your family and loved ones.