Five Reasons You Need a Last Will and Testament

It may feel uncomfortable to think about writing a will, but it’s a necessary document. Having a last will and testament allows you to be in control of your assets and determine how they will be divided.

Whether your estate is modest or massive, you need a will. Talk to an estate planning attorney near you to help draft your last will and testament.

Five Reasons to Draft a Will

Consider these five important factors when drafting a will:

  1. You pick your executor. In your will, you can handpick the “executor,” who will be handling your affairs after you’ve passed away. If you don’t have a will, anyone with an “interest” in your estate can ask the court to appoint them as “administrator.”  Administrators don’t have the same authority as executors, and an administrator could even be a creditor!
  2. You decide how your estate will be distributed. When people die intestate, or without a will, their estate is divided among their next of kin. But what if you want to have more control over who inherits what, or how much? You can use your will to designate how your property is divided. For example, if you have children, you can set up trusts for them so they don’t inherit everything as soon as they turn 18. If you are single and don’t want your assets to go to family, you can leave everything to a close friend or companion.
  3. You choose a guardian for your children. Those who have children assume they will be raised by their surviving spouse. But what if your spouse dies before you, or you both die at the same time? You would want to have a say in where your children live. It’s good to be prepared for these scenarios, and electing a guardian you trust to care for your kids gives you peace of mind.
  4. You can provide for charities. A last will and testament can dictate philanthropic decisions, too. If you have a charity you admire, or perhaps you love going to the theater or the orchestra, you can use your will to donate assets to these institutions as well.
  5. You will save time and money (and avoid further heartache). When you pass on, your friends and family are going to want a proper amount of time to mourn your loss. If you die intestate, they will be forced to go through probate and determine how to divide your assets, which can add salt to their wounds. If you have your wishes clearly laid out in a last will and testament, your family can spend their time together grieving their loss and celebrating the time they got to spend with you.

How an Estate Planning Attorney Can Help

At Golightly, Mulligan and Morgan, we make estate planning understandable and approachable. Our experienced estate planning lawyers have helped many clients dictate the terms of their estate through a last will and testament. We’re happy to go over your assets and assist you with drafting a plan that works best for you and your family. Call 804-658-3873 or email us at