When you think about creating a will, you might think that it’s good enough on its own. It isn’t, really, but there are a few reasons for that. A will needs to be considered one part of a well-rounded estate plan. It’s the one document you have to express your wishes and to assign guardians for your children. It’s a document that gives you the opportunity to establish a guardian for a disabled or elderly adult in your care.
You may already have assigned beneficiary designations in your life insurance policies, retirement accounts or property deeds, but not all of your assets will have beneficiary designations that you can sign quickly and forget about. Things like your furniture, clothing, pets and other possessions need to be accounted for. That’s what a will can help with.
Remember as well that dying without a will means that your estate will go through probate. Probate is a sometimes long and tedious process, especially for your loved ones who are still mourning. Probate tends to cost more than creating a will, and it may not result in the split of assets that you would have liked to have seen.
If you’re asking if a will is good enough on its own, the simple answer is that it’s not and should be thought of as one aspect of your estate plan. If you want to know if you need one, that answer could vary. Wills have a place in any good estate plan, and most people can benefit from having one. They don’t take long to create, and they offers protections that are worth having.