Southwest Florida

Yes, You Should Have a Will

Death comes whether you have a Will or not.
Don’t lie to yourself. Death comes for all of us, whether we have a Will or not. Make it easier for the ones you leave behind.

To avoid estate planning, people tell themselves all kinds of lies.

Forbes’s recent article, “3 Lies People Tell Themselves About Estate Planning,” discusses three lies people tell themselves to delay or avoid estate planning.

1. There’s No Need for a Will Because I Don’t Have Much Money.

This isn’t true. A typical Will covers more than just finances. Your Will can be used to protect your family by naming who should become the guardian for your minor children if you pass away. Your Will can also be used to state the way in which you’d like your body to be handled after your death. A Will provides details so your final wishes are carried out. Your family won’t be left guessing what you wanted.

2. There’s No Need to Update My Estate Plan Because Nothing’s Changed.

People say this all the time, but the law may have changed without your knowledge, necessitating modifications to your estate plan. For instance, many of the estate plans that were created years ago with the objective of minimizing federal estate tax are now out of date. You should also consider updating your estate plan to name younger adults to serve in critical fiduciary roles, because your original choices may no longer be able to serve.

3. There’s No Need to Update My Beneficiary Forms Because I Have a Will.

A Will doesn’t control the disposition of all of your assets; it only controls assets that pass through the probate estate. For example, married couples typically own their homes in joint tenancy, so the home automatically passes to the surviving spouse, no matter what the first-to-die spouse’s Will says. In addition, retirement accounts don’t pass via a Will. These accounts, such as IRAs, Roth IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s and similar accounts, pass by beneficiary designations. It’s important to understand that your beneficiary forms generally supersede your Will.

Talk to an experienced estate planning attorney today.

Reference: Forbes (May 9, 2019) “3 Lies People Tell Themselves About Estate Planning”

You wonder whether your granddaughter will think of you fondly when you’re not around anymore.

You want to make sure someone will love and care for your dog, horse, or parrot when you can’t.

Your spouse doesn’t share your love for guns, and you fear your collection could be sold for almost nothing – or even destroyed – instead of being passed on to your children or others who share your passion.

Contact us today. We can help.