Here are a few common reasons that people indicate there is no
point in writing a Will:
"I don't really care who gets my estate.
I'll be gone anyway."
Without a Will, your property may not go to the people that you wish to
benefit. In most countries there is a law that decides how property should
be distributed if a person dies 'intestate' (without a Will). The actual
administration of your estate will also be complicated and difficult. The
courts will usually decide who will act as a personal representative or
'executor' for distributing your possessions, and the laws in your local
jurisdiction will determine who will get what. This may lead to acrimonious
legal disputes between your survivors. Note that if you have no heirs, all
of your assets, property and possessions can pass to your local government.
The effort required to draft your Will is insignificant compared to the
difficulties that dying without a Will presents to your survivors.
"It's obvious who will get my estate. It
will go to my spouse."
Local laws will determine who will receive your possessions, which may or
may not reflect your intentions. If you die without a Will and you are
married, your assets will not automatically go to your surviving
spouse. Local laws may determine that others, including children, may
be entitled to a share. This will be determined by the laws of "Intestate
Succession" which vary from state to state, province to province,
country to country, and will frequently lead to messy legal cases.
"I don't have an estate of any value."
Even if you don't believe that you have an estate of any value, your
death itself may generate a sizeable benefit. For example, your
beneficiaries may be entitled to the proceeds of a life insurance claim, a
wrongful death suit, a claim in the event of some negligence resulting in
your death. These can be significant sums of money.
Quite clearly, there is never a situation where a Will is
unnecessary. In many cases, this can be a simple declaration of your
wishes for how your estate should be distributed, and this can be achieved by
working through the MyWill™ wizard on this web site. You should draft a
Will while you are still young and healthy, even if you don't feel that your
assets are substantial. There is absolutely no benefit in waiting until
you are older.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of people do not
have a Will. Some people feel that they do not need one because of one of the
above reasons. Others find it to be too time consuming to get organized,
find a lawyer, arrange appointments and attend meetings during their already
busy schedules. Many feel that the lawyers' fees surrounding the creation and
maintenance of a Will are too expensive.
Whatever your reason may be, you should know that it
is extremely important that you have an up to date Will. If you die without a
Will, the courts will decide how your estate is distributed, and this may not be
in the best interests of your loved ones. It is impossible for us to know how
your estate will be distributed, but we do know that if you have a Will, then
the decisions are in your hands.
To die without a Will is irresponsible and places a
tremendous burden on your survivors. Do not put it off any longer.