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10 reasons to have a will

Although many people in Washington don't want to think about the inevitable, having a well-prepared estate plan can protect the interests of your family and heirs. Here are some reasons why you should have a will as part of your estate plan.

One of the most popular reasons for having a will is that you get to decide how your estate is distributed. A will is legally binding and spells out your wishes as to how your assets are distributed. Also, if you have young children, it may be critical to have a will so that you are the one who decides who will take care of your children if you die unexpectedly, instead of the court appointing a family member or guardian.

More reasons for a will include having the ability to make gifts and donations to organizations and people. With careful planning, many people can minimize any taxes on their estates through coordinating their will with gifts to charities.

With a will, you decide who will serve as the executor. The executor will be the one who pays the outstanding bills, cancels bank accounts and credit cards and ties up any other loose ends. Most of the time, the slowest and costliest parts of the probate process are avoided because the will tells the court how you want your estate distributed. If you don't have a will the courts may give portions of your estate to relatives you barely know or don't trust.

Wills can be amended, so if circumstances change the will can be altered. It is important to have a will to protect your estate and simplify the probate process for your family.

Source:, "Top ten reasons to have a will," Accessed Sept. 2, 2014

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To speak with an attorney at Gellner Law Group about estate planning, probate, trusts, wills or tax controversy, contact our law office in Kent, Washington, today. You can call 425-336-2908 or send us an email. We provide representation across the entire Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area.

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