You might be under the impression that a Last Will & Testament is not necessary unless you have a fairly sizeable estate. However, regardless of your assets and circumstances, a Will is the critical foundation for ensuring that your wishes are carried out after you pass away.

A Will articulates guidelines for what will happen to your assets. Without taking the proper steps to craft a Will, the state will determine who gets what property from your estate, without any reference or consideration of your wishes. These laws of intestate succession differ from state to state. A Will is critical to prevent your family and friends from fighting over your asset after you die. Even if you do not have significant financial assets, if you have minor children, a Will is critical for establishing guardianship of those minor children. Without a Will, the probate court will decide which of your friends or relatives raises your child until they become an adult.

You can always amend your Will as needed. In fact, it is recommend that you work with your estate planning attorney to periodically review and if necessary, edit your Will (especially if your marital status changes or you have new children). You should always name a backup, who will take care of your children in the even that your original choice of guardian cannot or will not perform those duties.  Keeping this information up to date ensures that if something happens to you, your estate will be carried out in a manner of your choosing.

Putting your Will together is simply prudent planning. You have worked hard to achieve the assets you own, and it is your right to specify what you want to happen to them if you pass away. Putting a Will in place gives you peace of mind in knowing your wishes will be carried out.