Do I Really Need To Have A Will?
Many people believe that they are too young to create a will. Some people think that they don’t have enough things in their “estate” to really need a will. Both of these are usually incorrect. Anyone who is married, has a child or children, who owns a home or works full time can benefit from making a will.
At The Law Office of Martin Sir & Associates, we work in family law. We do not try and sell our clients anything they do not need. However, because of the protections a will offers, we do strongly recommend that you have a will made.
What Does A Will Include?
A will, also called a “last will and testament” is your letter to your family about what you want to happen with your things. When we discuss your will, we can also go over any other accounts you have and ensure that they are transferable upon death (TOD) or have designated beneficiaries.
A will also includes your wishes for your minor children, should both you and the other parent die or become unable to raise them. This is important. If you do not have a will, then the state of Tennessee will decide who will raise your children. The state of Tennessee will also decide who gets your possessions.
If you do not have a will, then your estate will likely have to pass through Tennessee probate. This takes time and costs money. When you do not put down in writing your wishes, it forces your family to guess at what you would have wanted. This can lead to long-lasting tension and disagreements.
Two Other Important Documents
A will is one planning document. Typically when people make their will, they also create a power of attorney (POA). When you create a POA you designate a family member or trusted friend to take care of your financial affairs if you become incapacitated (durable power of attorney). Again, designating someone to do this takes an enormous burden off of your family.
A third tool that many people include as a part of their will is a living will (also called a health care directive or advance directive). A health care directive communicates in writing what you would like done to save or prolong your life by your medical team. For example, if you are in a serious car crash and are in a coma, do you want to be put on a ventilator? This document can be as simple or detailed as you feel necessary.
You may wish to also designate a family member or close friend to be your health care proxy. Proxy means that they have the authority to make health care decisions for you when you can’t. We can help you decide which person is the best fit for this role. Again, when you’ve put one person in charge and made your wishes clear, an enormous burden is lifted from your still in shock or grieving family.
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