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Do you need a will if you don’t have a spouse and children?

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2024 | Estate Planning |

It’s a common assumption that people create wills to pass their assets to their children when they die. Therefore, many individuals without a spouse or offspring may feel they don’t need to create a will.

However, having a will is crucial for every adult for multiple reasons.

Control over asset distribution

Without a will, your assets will be distributed according to Virginia’s intestacy laws. This means that the state decides who inherits your property, which may not be according to your wishes.

Appoint an executor

Having a will allows you to name an executor, someone you trust to manage your estate and fulfill your wishes. Without a will, the court will appoint an administrator, who may not be someone you would have chosen.

Provide for pets

For some people, their pets are like their children. Having a will is essential for ensuring their beloved animals are cared for. You can designate a guardian for your pets and allocate funds for their care, providing peace of mind that they will be looked after.

Supporting favorite charities

If some causes or organizations are important to you, a will enables you to leave part of your estate to these entities. This allows you to continue supporting your favorite charities and make a meaningful impact even after you’re gone.

Health care and end-of-life decisions

A will primarily deals with the distribution of your assets. Still, it’s also an opportunity to include instructions regarding your preferences for medical treatment and appoint someone you trust to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.

Specific bequests

You may wish to leave personal items or family heirlooms to specific individuals. A will allows you to make these bequests and prevent the state from selling or distributing them.