Do I Need A Will?

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!


Do-It-Yourself Wills and Trusts

I don’t have a will and I’ve done zero estate planning. That being said, it’s a situation I plan to remedy so this recent NY Times article about do-it-yourself wills and trusts was pretty timely. The one important thing I learned about wills and trusts were that they are considered private documents, which means they are valid in all fifty states even if you don’t hire a lawyer to draft them. From my interpretation, it sounds like it’s not an agreement but more a unilateral statement so it’s not necessary to have a lawyer draft it up (especially with how expensive they are).

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