3 Big Reasons Why You Need a Will

More than two-thirds of American adults don’t have a will.* You wouldn’t think about driving to work without wearing your seat belt. So why would you risk leaving those you love unprotected by skipping this important document?

If you pass away without a will, consider how these important people in your life will be impacted:

  1. Your spouse might have to share your estate with other relatives. The laws of the state where you live determine how much of your estate goes to your spouse. Some states give your spouse one-third of your estate, with your children sharing the rest. In certain states, your parents, siblings and other relatives could get a cut-whether you want them to or not.
  2. Your children could get equal shares. At first glance, this might not seem like a problem. However, perhaps one child has played a greater role in your caregiving or you gave one child assistance during a financially difficult time. Do you intend to even things out by leaving your children different shares of your estate? Without a will, the state won’t take this into consideration.
  3. Your favorite charities will receive nothing. You likely have charitable causes, such as California State University, Los Angeles, that are important to you. When you create a will, you can include a gift that supports our future. If you pass away without a will, no state has laws that allow your estate to make charitable gifts.

Already have a will? Excellent! But you’re not off the hook. Your will reflects the time when it was created, and depending on when that was, your life might look quite different. Here are a few situations that should trigger an update to your will:

  • There’s been a marriage, divorce, birth, adoption or death in your family.
  • You’ve moved to another state.
  • Your estate has increased in size.

Don’t Leave Your Loved Ones Unprotected

Creating a will that protects the important people in your life is an act of love. So stop putting off this important task. We’re here to help you start the process-just contact Jacqueline M. Williams at (323) 343-3075 or jwilliams@calstatela.edu today.  

*2016 NMI Healthy Aging Database® Study

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