Why should you have a will?

I once heard someone say, “If you want to get even with your spouse and your family and friends and reach back from the great beyond and cause misery, discord and unnecessary expense to your loved ones – die without a will! That will do it!”

A will is a legal document that allows a person to have his or her wishes followed after that person dies. The will leaves legal directions as to the disposition of property, the smooth and binding transition of ownership, the paying of bills, and generally the management of the possessions and personal affairs and wishes of the deceased. The will names a trusted relative or friend to become the executor of the will and to receive the power of the court to resolve these and other matters.

Generally, a person named as executor becomes the trusted fiduciary of the estate and makes sure the final bills are paid, the property is legally distributed, and the general business affairs of the deceased are settled in legal and orderly ways. The will may also provide instructions regarding minor children to assure their safety, well-being and education.

A well-formed signed, witnessed, notarized, dated will can save the spouse, children, family and friends a great deal of stress and expense.

If you are married, or single, have children, a retirement savings, a home, real estate, or other assets and responsibilities you should consider having a well-written and properly executed will.

A will is not a “death warrant” as some people seem to believe. A will shows to yourself and to others that you are a responsible adult who loves his or her family and friends and realizes the idea of maturity and responsibility.

Nothing in this article is to be considered legal advice. You should always obtain legal assistance from a licensed attorney when considering legal decisions.

John Hall is an attorney with John A. Hall and Associates, P.C. in Kyle.

johnhalllawfirm.com.

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