Reasons Why Having a Will is Important

Posted On January 29, 2024

A Last Will & Testament is a valuable document that your family will benefit from when you die or if you become incapacitated at some point. Your will can communicate how you wish your family to be taken care of, your assets to be managed/distributed, and even which charities will benefit from your long years of responsible planning.

In navigating the complexities of estate planning in New York, it’s crucial to have a knowledgeable and experienced attorney by your side. At New York Legacy Lawyers, our New York estate planning attorneys may be able to help craft personalized Last Wills & Testaments that reflect your unique wishes and ensure your legacy is honored. Don’t leave your family’s future to chance. Contact us today at (718) 713-8080 to secure your peace of mind and provide for your loved ones in the best way possible.

Why You Should Have a Will

  • A will gives you the power to determine how your estate and assets will be handled.
  • If you were to die before creating a will, there is no guarantee, or expectation, that your final wishes will be carried out.
  • A will helps keep families from fighting over the assets left to them. It provides guidance, and even advice, as to when, how, and why certain parts of your estate should be divided up.
  • Your will gives you a choice as to who will care for your children should you pass away. Without a will, the decision of who gets to care for the children could be left up to a judge. In some cases, the kids are taken and put into foster care until a decision is reached, or permanently.
  • The probate process will be more straightforward if it is necessary at all. One of your goals in your will is to get rid of all ambiguities and make determinations on the distribution of your assets simple. Without direction, a court may have to decide the best way to handle things – which is likely to upset everyone and cost more $.
  • A will is also an excellent way to ensure that your assets go to the people that you desire to have them. Not everyone who has a claim to your assets is someone to whom you’d willingly give them. A will is the one way to direct the assets you leave behind to the people you want to inherit them, and to keep those people you’d rather move on from taking what otherwise would not belong to them.
  • Some people use a will to donate a certain amount of money or property to a charitable organization. Sometimes a person may want to see a school or institution supported once they pass on, so they will create a section in their will delegating a certain amount of property or money to go to that institution. You should consult with an estate planning attorney to see if there are better ways to transfer your wealth to a charitable organization.
  • A Will is part of a larger estate plan. Your estate plan is a powerful and somewhat living entity. As you grow and your assets change, it has to grow and change with you. If you have trust in a wonderful estate planning attorney, they will always make sure your Will is up to date and reflects the long-term interests of you, your family, and your estate.
Reasons to Have a Will Description
Asset Distribution A will allows you to determine how your estate and assets will be handled, ensuring your final wishes are carried out and preventing disputes among family members.
Guardianship for Children With a will, you can choose who will care for your children if you pass away, avoiding a court decision and potential foster care placement.
Simplifying the Probate Process A will helps simplify the probate process, providing clear directions for asset distribution, avoiding ambiguities, and potentially reducing legal costs and family conflicts.
Asset Allocation Ensure that your assets go to the intended beneficiaries rather than individuals who may have a claim, giving you control over your estate’s distribution.
Charitable Donations You can use a will to donate money or property to charitable organizations, supporting causes important to you beyond your lifetime. Consult an estate planning attorney for options.
Part of a Comprehensive Estate Plan A will is an integral part of a larger estate plan that should adapt as your assets and circumstances change, reflecting your long-term interests and family’s needs.

Why Is It Important to Name an Executor in a Will?

Naming an executor in a will is essential for several reasons. An executor is the person responsible for carrying out the terms of a will. They manage the estate’s affairs after the death of the individual who created the will, known as the decedent.

The executor has several key responsibilities. They handle the probate process, which is the legal procedure to validate the will. They also collect the assets that the decedent owned individually and distribute them according to the will’s instructions after paying off any debts and taxes due from the estate. Debts may include funeral expenses, while taxes can encompass the decedent’s final income taxes and potential estate taxes.

Without a named executor, there may be delays and confusion in managing and distributing the estate. It could lead to increased legal costs and potential conflicts among potential heirs or beneficiaries.

Additionally, the executor oversees the investment and care of the estate’s assets during the administration period. This period can vary in length, which makes it important for the executor to manage the estate effectively, especially if it includes complex assets or generates income.

The executor also ensures that any pledges or agreements the decedent made are fulfilled, and if there’s uncertainty regarding these obligations, the executor may need to seek a judicial decision.

After all financial matters are settled, the executor is responsible for the final distribution of the remaining assets to the beneficiaries as outlined in the will. They must also provide a detailed accounting of all actions taken, assets collected, and distributions made.

Naming an executor ensures that the estate is managed and distributed smoothly, debts and taxes are paid, and the decedent’s wishes are honored. It is a critical step in creating a will that provides clear instructions and helps avoid potential legal issues after the decedent’s passing.

Work On Your Will Today And Begin Your Estate Plan

Having a will is a vital step in managing your legacy and ensuring your loved ones are cared for according to your wishes. As you consider the importance of this decision, seeking the help of a legal professional is crucial. At New York Legacy Lawyers, our team of experienced New York estate planning attorneys are here to assist you in creating a will that perfectly captures your intentions. Don’t wait to secure your family’s future. Contact us today at (718) 713-8080 for a consultation and take the first step towards peace of mind and a well-planned legacy.