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Do I Need A Will?

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I am engaged but not yet married, I have no kids, and I don’t have a lot of assets, do I need a will? That’s the question I asked myself after reading the do-it-yourself wills and trusts article I posted yesterday morning. Right now, the answer is no. However, when I get married and definitely by the time we have children, we will want to have a will in place to outline where my assets will go in the event of my death.

What happens if I don’t have one and I die? Then I die intestate, which means the distribution of my assets will depend on the laws of the great state of Maryland and that distribution will likely take a long long time. The process is called administration and it’s governed by the probate court. So, having a will, especially if it can be prepared with a $40 piece of software, makes life a lot easier in a time that is likely going to be very rough.

It’s a little morbid talking about one’s own mortality but sometimes you have to get over that and get down to business. People die and it’s best that they be considerate when doing so!

{ 4 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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4 Responses to “Do I Need A Will?”

  1. With little assets a will really isn’t necessary but it is nice to leave your wishes so that people do not overspend on your funeral. This is the only reason an unmarried person with little assets would have a will in my opinion.

  2. grant says:

    Once you get married, and especially when you have kids, I would recommend having a simple will as well as a trust. If you have a will it still goes through probate and you have to pay fees to the court as well as taxes that you can avoid (if probably set up) via a trust.

  3. DebtyBetty says:

    I’ve actually been giving this considerable thought recently. I’m not married, my debts far outweigh my assets, and I don’t have any kids either. But what I’ve been thinking about is how I rely on online banking and paperless statements so much, that if something were to ever happen to me, my family would have no idea where to look for my finances.

  4. Bellen says:

    I think everyone needs a will – it is a lot less trouble/hassle for those you leave behind. Besides distribution of your possessions (does your brother covet your snowboard, your mom want that weird statue because it says you all over it, your dad want your high school/college sports stuff?), you will be able to add a notarized letter of your funeral requirements, leave the info about where your personal finances can be located. Of course, you would be able to name who will be the Executor of your estate.

    My Dad died and had a very simple will – pay off all his debts, distribute everything else equally between the 3 daughters. Well, this sounds good in theory, but all his stuff (books, photos, wedding china, things he had collected from around the world) was left to the discretion of the Executrix, the oldest daughter. She felt her children & grandchildren needed things to remember him – they got first choice of everything & took almost everything. My other sister, her 2 daughters, myself & my 3 boys got the leftovers. I know that is not what he had planned. For all of us, he orally agreed to leave us certain things – did not work out that way. Do my sister & I feel left out – yes, because some of those ‘things’ meant alot to us – no real monetary value, just lots of wonderful memories. Are we bitter? No, because we both felt that was probably what she was going to do. A more detailed will, or notarized letter, would have been much better. And yes, he could have given us the items before he died, but he had just as many memories in them as we did.


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