Regardless of the excuse for not having a Will, deciding what will happen to your assets and personal possessions after your death is important. Besides attempting to preserve wealth in your family, having a valid Will is essential in attempting to ensure that your property passes to your heirs as you desire. While most people assume that without a Will their assets still go to surviving family members, the reality is that in many instances the resulting distribution of assets under the laws of intestacy (dying without a Will) do not accomplish what was desired and avoidable expenses are incurred. This is especially true for families involving second marriages or unmarried couples who may also have children. A Will gives you the opportunity to decide who you want to be in charge of carrying out your last wishes. This decision is important as it greatly reduces the potential for confl ict and dispute among surviving family members. Without a Will, someone will have to apply to the county Surrogate in order to be appointed to administer the estate. Not only is it common for surviving family members to disagree as to who should be in control, but in some instances it can lead to an all-out family feud and expensive litigation. By making a Will, you greatly reduce the potential for family infi ghting which can destroy relationships.
In a majority of estates in which the deceased died without a Will, in order to obtain approval to administer the estate, the Surrogate will require the posting of a bond. This cost can easily be avoided with a proper Will. To avoid unnecessary expense and to make sure your loved ones are adequately protected, the reasons for getting a Will outweigh the myriad of reasons for procrastinating. Everyone should have a Will, and a good attorney can streamline the process to ensure that your last wishes are implemented.