Why Make A Will?

Make A WillBy Toma Franklin, Staff Writer

The idea of making a will sounds too legal, complicated, or morbid for some people, but if you are one of them, consider this: there is nothing more legally complicated, and in many cases morbid, than what happens to your property and assets after your death if you don't have a will in place.

Without a legal directive for the disbursement and control of your property and assets, you essentially leave everything up to chance. Despite the adverse consequences, 66% of Americans die without a will or trust - known as "Intestate."

Read on to discover more reasons why making a will today can help ensure a more secure tomorrow for your loved ones.

  • Protection for The One's You Love:

    Without a will, you have no control over your own assets and property, and no one has to point out that this is a very bad thing. If you are married, you can't assume that your spouse, (or children, if applicable) will automatically inherit everything, since brothers, sisters, and other relatives may have valid claims that, whether or not they actually result in an inheritance, will tie up the court proceedings. It is important to note here that without a directive in place in a valid, legal will, if your former spouse should die, your shared children will be unlikely to inherit any of his or her assets or property since it is usually given to the new spouse in the absence of a directive.

  • Protection for Minor Children:

    Without a will in place, custody of your minor children will be decided by the court. In cases of non-traditional families, especially where only one parent has full custody, a directive in your will establishing guardianship will save all involved including your minor children, much heartache at what will already be a difficult time

  • Streamlining of the Legal Process:

    Without a will, the court will write one for you a process that can take more time than you might think. When a will is in place, court time (and costs) required of your family members can be reduced considerably, and there is less likelihood of unintended (by you) beneficiaries.

  • A Will Is Your Last Word:

    In a difficult time, a will shows your family that you loved them enough to provide them with security and peace of mind, and in the end, nothing you can do speaks more to your caring, concern, and interest in your loved ones than this.

How To Make A Will

A long time ago, wills were nothing more than deathbed confessions whispered to priests during last rights or extreme unction. Times have changed since then, and laws are far more complicated, which is one of the many reasons why only a qualified, professional attorney should help you draw up your will. There are many "Do-It-Yourself" kits available for purchase, but in the end a will, like most legal documents, boils down to the wording.

Only your attorney has the training and education necessary to ensure that the wording of your will isn't full of loopholes large enough for the majority of your financial capital to slip through. Make an appointment with your attorney today to learn more about your will, and other estate planning options.

  • Conducting a private interview with a proposed conservatee to explain how the proposed Conservatorship will change their life

  • Familiarize both parties with the Probate Conservatorship hearing procedure

  • Determine whether a proposed conservatee requires a lawyer to represent him or her, in the event that they lack the ability to understand the proceedings and or give an opinion.

After one year, the Court Investigator will typically make a home visit to the conservatee, and is required to file a report if the temporary conservator has requested the movement of the conservatee out of their residents, if the conservator has petitioned for exclusive authority to make medical decisions on behalf of the Conservatee, or if the Conservator has expressed a desire to sell the Conservatee's current or former home.

Who Can Be A Conservator?

In a Probate Conservatorship, the Spouse of the proposed Conservatee is given first priority for Conservatorship under the law, followed by any adult children, parents of the proposed Conservatee, siblings, anyone else approved by law, and then, finally, a court appointed Public Guardian.

A Court appointed Public Guardian is sometimes required in situations when a Court has deemed that a Probate Conservator is necessary, but no qualified person can be found. Public Guardians can also be Court appointed as the result of a referral from Adult Protective Services, or a relative, friend, neighbor, or doctor of the proposed Conservatee, as well as a referring Police Officer or other official acting within his or her appropriate legal capacity.