ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Do You Really Need a Will?

Updated on December 22, 2009

Many adults do not have a will. Sometimes they think they do not need one, if they do not have many assets. Others mistakenly think that having a will causes friends and family to go through probate and incur expenses after the will owner dies. Others simply do not take the time or expense to draw up a will. However, most all adults need a will for several reasons.

What is a will?

A will is a legal document that outlines instructions for distribution of a person’s property after he dies. The owner of the will is known as the “testator.” A person can alter or revoke his will at any point and as many times as he likes during his life. The will has no legal affect on his property or assets until after his death.

What happens if you die without a will?

If you die without a will, the state in which you live bears the responsibility of distributing your property. Different states have different intestacy statutes, but generally the state will distribute your assets to your nearest heirs to handle how they wish. In some cases, your state statutes might handle the distribution of your assets as you would wish; however, this may not be the case.

Why should you have a will?

Even if you do not possess many assets, you should have a will in order to ensure that people receive items that you want to pass down to them. Since the state will not distribute specific items to specific people, your heirs may not decide who should receive what in the way that you would like. A family heirloom that you may want to give to your daughter might end up with another female relative. Having a will ensures that you can distribute your valuable items the way that you want.

If you have children who are not yet grown, you need a will to ensure that they receive their inheritances at the time and the manner of your choosing. If your children are minors and you die without a will, the probate court will establish a conservatorship to manage your children’s inheritance. Your children will receive this share upon their 18th birthday, regardless of whether they are capable of responsibly managing the funds or not. With a will, you can choose the age your child should be to receive your assets. Of course, a will is critical also for denoting guardianship of your children upon the appropriate party.

Finally, not having a will can be more expensive for your heirs than handling your assets with a will. Without a will, the administrator of your estate will have to post a surety bond, incurring additional expenses. With a will, you can choose your administrator and ensure that this will not be done.

Image Credit: Marco Bellucci, Flickr

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • shazwellyn profile image

    shazwellyn 

    8 years ago from Great Britain

    Nice one... I was hoping to link this to a hub that I am creating. Hope this is ok.

    Shaz x

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Excellent topic and well written. Thanks.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)