Q: It seems that all my friends have started to prepare Wills now that they have children. Do I need to have one if I am single
Planning for one's demise is never a favorite subject, but planning now can save later headaches for loved ones and those responsible for your estate. Singles should at the very least give thought to whether they care about what happens to their estate after they've died. Most people have some interest in this, and a will is recommended to ensure that your property is distributed according to your wishes. If you wish to leave items of personal property or money to a friend, charity or relative, a will will help you to do so, and can facilitate substantial tax savings not only to your estate, but to the estate's beneficiaries. It will also help contain administration and probate expenses.
If you die without a will, your State's law will determine what happens to your property in a process called intestate succession. This usually requires appointment of an administrator by the State, eating up costs and time. And if you have a minor child, having a will is particularly important because it will allow you to designate a guardian of their interest in the event of your death. Even if your will contains just simple instructions naming an executor and directing your funeral requirements, it will create less stress for those you leave behind no matter how minimal the distribution of your possessions or assets may be.
There are a multitude of print and on-line resources providing forms and suggestions for simple to more complex will preparation. I encourage you to take a little time to read up on this issue and consider consulting a lawyer, as there are steps you can take now to save time, expense and aggravation for your loved ones later.
DISCLAIMER: This publication is distributed with the understanding that it does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney/client relationship by way of any information contained herein. The information provided is for general purposes only, as readers are advised to consult with a qualified lawyer regarding the specifics of their particular circumstances.