Approximately 70% of Americans don’t have a will. A will is a fairly simple document to create so why do so many people avoid it? Some might say: I don’t have anything to leave to my heirs; I’ll let them sort it out when I’m dead; I’m dead so it’s not my problem; I’ve got plenty of time to write my will; I can’t afford it, etc. Read about how to write your own will here.
Families today tend to be blended, containing spouses, ex-spouses, children, step-children, and adopted children. Parents of blended families-or any family, really-should take the time to draft a will to ensure their wishes are followed after they die. You certainly are capable of writing your own will, but most attorneys and financial advisors recommend getting the help of an attorney to draft a will to ensure all required details are covered. Individuals should also consider preparing a durable power of attorney for health and financial reasons.
Naming a guardian for your minor children and naming an executor are two important components of your will. What happens if neither parent is able to take care of the children? Without a will, the court appoints a guardian for your children.
Be sure to update your will if there’s a change in your marital status, you give birth to a child, move to a new state or any significant change in your life situation. It’s particularly important to write a new will if you’re in a second marriage and you have children from a former relationship. In some cases, your current spouse may automatically inherit your assets and your children may unintentionally be left out.
Forbes online has an interesting article on this topic here. It is worth reading.
Call the right probate and estate planning attorney for help. Call Mitchell A. Port at (310) 559-5259.