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Where there is a Will . . .

Nobody likes to dwell on the morbid, but despite what Bob Dylan or Alphaville sing, we won’t stay forever young; and when we die, the courts will have to get involved in some capacity to determine who gets our property (or Estate). For those of us who never got around to creating a Will, the court determines who gets the property in our Estate. More than that, the court can determine who will become the guardian for our children. Those of us who draft a Will get to tell the court what we want.

Without a Will to guide them, the courts follow pre-determined laws which set out the “default” rules of who gets what and when. Typically, subject to some exceptions, our property will be divided out along these priority lines: surviving children or their descendants > surviving spouse > surviving parents > surviving siblings > surviving grandparents, aunts, and uncles, etc. For some people, this is fine and follows what many people would want to happen anyway. But there are reasons some people might want to give their property to somebody different from what the law says or in different amounts. In fact, there are many reasons why a person might want to have control over who gets what and when.

Wills are a great way to give specific gifts. Maybe you want your grandson or nephew or neighbor to get your vintage guitar or baseball card collection. Maybe you want your granddaughter to have your car after you are gone.

Wills are a great way to make your wishes known. Arguments break out between family members when there is no Will to tell them what you wanted. You can even explain your motives in your Will if you want your family to know why you did what you did.

Wills can tell the court who you want to manage your estate. Wills can even identify who you want to take care of your children after you are gone, and even though the court will make its own determination, they take your wishes seriously if they are made known.

Wills are a good way to identifying specific items and their location. Maybe you have a family heirloom stored some place. A Will can identify those properties and where you keep them so that they are not lost after you are gone.

The decision to draft a Will shouldn’t be intimidating. They can be drafted as simple or as complicated as you see fit, AND they can be changed later if you change your mind.

If you would like to speak with an attorney about drafting a new Will, modifying an old Will, or whether a Will or Trust is a better option for you, please contact Attorney Aaron Heller at OMG Law Firm. 1-870-336-6505 or aheller@omglawfirm.com

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