About Your:  Will    Durable Power of Attorney     Health Care Proxy     Living Will

Why You Need a Will

To Appoint Guardians and Trustees for Your Children

All people with minor children should have a will.

If you die suddenly, or you and spouse die together in a accident, without a will designating a guardian for your children you can create confusion and anxiety for your family.

  • If you want to choose who will look after your children in the event of your death- you need a will.
  • If you want to be sure that a responsible party of your choice will look after your child's property- you need a will.
  • If you want to control when and how much of your assets are given to your children- you need a will.
  • An 18 year old child may not be mature enough to manage a financial windfall- to help protect your child from squandering an inheritance- you need a will.

To Ensure that Your Property is Distributed As You Intended

Wills are not just for the rich- most people have a home, furniture, bank account, life insurance policy, and retirement account. This stuff is your estate and you need a will to direct where it goes.  Dying without a will, or intestate, means that the laws of New York will govern how your property is distributed.

This distribution may not be suitable for your needs. For example, if your spouse and children survive you, $50,000 plus half your residuary estate will go to your spouse and the other half will be divided among your children.

Many people want their spouse to get everything but this is not so unless you take action to direct your property in a will or trust. Learn more about how New York will distribute property when there is no will.

  • If you are not close with your immediate family -  you need a will to ensure your assets go to the people you wish.
  • If you want to ensure that your spouse will receive all of your assets at your death - you need a will.
  • If you die without a will and your spouse dies after you it is possible that your spouse's family inherits all of your assets - if you want to avoid this- you need a will.
  • If your spouse is incapacitated at the time of your death, passing assets to them may not be what makes sense for you. A will allows you to cover this possibility.
  • If your children are very, young passing assets to them under the intestate law is likely not the best option.  In a will you can decide when your children inherit your property.