Wills are often seen as a something that only comes up when an elderly person passes away. Because of this notion, many people think that a will is something they’ll only need to worry about decades from now. However, even young adults can benefit from currently having a will.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail’s recent article entitled “Don’t have a will? Now might be the time to change that” explains that having a will provides you with a layer of security for your family.
The process of drafting a will itself is pretty simple. A person can get a sense of comfort knowing that their final wishes and requests will be known and respected.
The creation of most wills starts with a person contacting an experienced estate planning attorney. He or she will usually send them a questionnaire to complete that asks about the spelling of their names and those of family members, as well as the items and properties they want to list. Once the attorney has that information, the client and the attorney meet to talk about the goals of the client. The attorney will get back to the client in a few weeks with a draft or estate plan. After a review, the client returns to execute the document before witnesses and a notary.
It truly is important for young people to have wills, especially those who are unmarried or have children. If you have young children, your will states the guardians for your children. It’s also a good idea to nominate guardians in a power of attorney or other state specific form in the event you are incapacitated and unable to care for your children. These steps can ensure your chosen person has control instead of the State getting involved. If a parent without a spouse doesn’t name a guardian in a will for their child, the court will make a selection.
Estate planning attorneys usually will charge a flat fee for a drafting will. While there are alternatives to the traditional process, going online to find a will-making program isn’t recommended, especially if you have a complex estate. These should be left to experienced estate planning attorneys. However, even for a Regular Joe, most experts say to avoid these sites entirely.
Attorneys can make a lot of money from these do-it-yourself will websites, because they often result in probate litigation. Some of these websites can cause errors in the drafting of a will. This leads to law firms making far more money than they would have, if the client had simply drafted the will through them in the first place.
Death is an uncomfortable topic for many people. Many people don’t know what options are available, and they’re often scared to ask. However, with COVID-19, people are beginning to realize the importance of a will and a complete estate plan.
Reference: The Charleston Gazette-Mail (Aug. 23, 2020) “Don’t have a will? Now might be the time to change that”