I Did Not Know What To Say Blog

The Importance of Having a Will

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on September 21, 2009

As part of our series on Planning For A Life Without You, we conducted the following interview with Michael Murphy, ESQ, to give our readers an overview on the importance of having  a will. 

1. What are the most important reasons for writing a Will?

   A.  To insure assets are left to the people you want to inherit them
   B.  To be sure that the person in charge of your estate is the person you want
   C.  To insure someone is named to take care of young children if both spouses die
   D.   To be sure you use any tax avoidance benefits available 

2.  Do I need a Will if I don’t own a home or have children?    

      Yes, for all of the above reasons. 

3.  What happens if I don’t have a Will? 

Anyone even creditors can apply to manage your estate; assets go as directed by State law instead of as directed by you and any tax avoidance opportunities may be lost. 

4.  How often should I update my Will?

Whenever there is a significant change in wealth status, any change in marital status, the arrival of children or every 5-10  years whichever occurs first. 

5.  What are the most important facts to consider when writing a Will?

   A. Consider ways to avoid probate costs
   B. Consider ways to avoid  tax consequences
   C.  Select people to be in charge of children and/or your estate who are responsible and suitable to carry out your wishes

6.  What are benefits of using an attorney as opposed to writing your own Will?           

An Attorney will know costs and taxes that can be avoided if the Will is structured properly and will be familiar with issues relevant to your state and your courts.  An Attorney will see to it that your Will is executed properly.  If your Will is not executed properly it can be invalidated.

7.  What are most important things to look for in hiring an Attorney to write your Will?  

You should consider the length of time the Attorney has been in the practice of law and the percentage of time devoted to Wills and probate matters. The more time the better, preferably more than 50%.  

The above information was provided by Michael A. Murphy, Esq.  He and his wife Ann practice law in Fairfax County, Virginia.  Tel # 703-455-7177.  Both graduated from Georgetown University Law School.  Ann has been in practice almost 27 years.  Mike has been in practice over 35 years.  Both devote the majority of their practice to Wills, Trusts and Probate matters.   

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2 Responses to “The Importance of Having a Will”

  1. RobD said

    Hey, I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog!…..I”ll be checking in on a regularly now….Keep up the good work! 🙂 🙂

  2. Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again – taking your feeds too now, Thanks.

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