1. Why you should have a Will
Although one of the most important documents you may ever sign is a Last Will and Testament, unfortunately nearly 70% of Americans don't have a Will. While there are many reasons to have a Will, several of the most important ones are:
So that you can determine how your assets are distributed upon your death and not the government.
Without a Will, state law will determine how your assets are distributed upon your death, no matter what you may have wanted to happen. For example, a common misconception is that without a Will a person's surviving spouse will inherit everything. Under Connecticut Law, if a deceased person's spouse is alive and there are also children of the marriage alive, the spouse gets the 1st $100,000.00 plus 1/2 the balance. If any surviving child is not also the natural or adopted child of the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse only gets 1/2 the entire estate. If there are no children, but one of the deceased's spouse's parents is alive, the the spouse gets the 1st $100,000.00 plus 3/4 of the balance.
So that you can determine who is in charge of your estate.
Without a Last Will and Testament, pursuant to Connecticut law, the Probate Court will determine who is in charge of the administration of your estate and not you. This will likely increase the costs to your heirs.
So that your loved ones can save money on inheritance taxes.
With a carefully drawn Will, if your estate is large enough, you can save on inheritance taxes through the use of carefully drawn trusts and the use of other estate planning documents.
So that you can determine who is going to be the guardian of any of your minor children.
If you don't have a Will and your spouse does not survive you or passes away in a common disaster with you, the Probate Court will decide who gets to be the guardian of your minor children and have custody of them and not you. With a Will, you can appoint the person or persons who you want to raise and take care of your minor children. In addition, with a Will, you can also include a Trust for the benefit of your minor children and also appoint who you want to be in charge of it.
So that you can have peace of mind
A validly drawn Will which takes into account life's complexities lasts forever, unless it is properly changed or destroyed by you.