A will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of any minor children. It spells out your wishes regarding care of your children, as well as distribution of your assets after one’s death.

Why should you have a Will?

Some people think that only the very wealthy or those with complicated assets need wills. However, there are many good reasons to have a will:

  • You can be clear about who gets your assets. You can decide who gets what and how much.
  • You can keep your assets out of hands of people you don't want to have them (like an estranged relative).
  • You can identify who should care for your children. Without a will, the courts will the power to decide the ratio of divison.
  • Your heirs will have a faster and easier time getting access to your assets.

It’s better to have a written Will

To maximize the likelihood that your wishes will be carried out, create what's known as a testamentary will. This is the most familiar type of will; you prepare the document and then sign it in the presence of witnesses. It's arguably the best insurance against successful challenges to your wishes by family members or business associates after you die. You can write one yourself, but for greater insurance, have it prepared by a trusts and estates attorney.