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Take this simple test to find out if you need a will.

If you answered yes to any one of the questions, you need a will.

Wills are not just for the wealthy.

No matter how much or how little money you have, a will guarantees that whatever personal belongings and assets you do have will go to family or the beneficiaries you specify. Without a will, your assets are distributed in accordance with the laws of the state.

Who will get your property if you die without a will?

If you die intestate (meaning without a valid will or trust) your assets will be doled out according to the laws of the state in which you live. You might be surprised to discover that your estate may be distributed in ways you never expected. To see how your estate may be distributed try the New York Intestacy Calculator.

If you have children, a will is a must.

Making your wishes known in a will ensures that you get to choose your children's guardian.

A valid will provides your loved ones with some peace of mind.

If you die suddenly without a will, you'll be subjecting your family and loved ones to disarray and anxiety during what is already a difficult time.

You get to name the person or persons that will manage your estate.

Through your will, you appoint an executor or executors that will wind up your affairs and distribute your estate. You are afforded the opportunity to name persons or institution that you feel are trustworthy and will do a good job. If you die without a will, the court will appoint an administrator according to the law of the state in which you live.

Are wills expensive?

Simple wills do not cost a great deal of money, yet provide a great benefit to your loved ones at difficult time. Please keep in mind that an experienced estate practitioner will not provide you with a "one size fits all" will. Since an attorney will tailor your document to fit your situation, the cost may vary depending upon the circumstances. If your situation is not too complex, you may save money by preparing your will online with attorney review.

There are other benefits to having a will, including tax benefits. You should discuss the benefits of making a will with an experienced trust and estate attorney.

Author: Rudolf J. Karvay

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