People have many questions when it comes to wills. Unfortunately, people tend not to ask these questions until they are far along in life or are dealing with a potentially life-threatening illness.
Perhaps this is because people think that wills are only for the wealthy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Regardless of their financial circumstances, anybody who wants to control the division of their assets requires a will.
Even individuals who don’t have children and don’t own any significant assets may benefit from having a will. Should someone pass away without making a will in New Jersey, state law dictates how their belongings will be distributed. Most often, this means that everything goes to the decedent’s parents or another close family member. This may be precisely what the decedent wants. However, it’s best to have it down in writing, which has the effect of speeding up the process and preventing loved ones from agonizing over decisions about what to do with the possessions left behind.
Even people who don’t have significant assets may want to consider having a will created so that what they do have is distributed the way they prefer. For instance, a will makes it possible to leave a bequest to a favorite charity or to provide for the future care of a pet. It’s also possible to appoint an executor for the will, usually a trusted individual who ensures that assets are distributed in accordance with the decedent’s wishes.
While creating a will is an important step, it is just as important to update the document as circumstances change. Upon purchasing a home or other significant asset, marriage or the birth of a child, it probably makes sense to have wills updated. In fact, any major life change should be a cause to at least consider the contents of a will and whether or not they need to be changed.
Creating a will doesn’t have to be a particularly difficult or time consuming process, especially when you engage the services of an experienced attorney. An attorney who focuses their practice on matters concerning wills and estates can guide you through the process and help you find creative solutions. Having a will generally brings a lot of peace of mind by ensuring that your wishes will be clear even if you’re not still around to stipulate them. Whether you are just starting out in life or are facing retirement, creating a will can be a sensible decision.