Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law
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Still on the fence about a will? Here are some things to consider

Let's face it; no one likes to contemplate his or her own death. Like many other Utah residents, you are probably content living your life and not thinking too far into the future. This most likely also means that you have not yet made out a will.

If you are still on the fence regarding whether you need a will, the answer is most likely yes. Every adult could benefit from having one. No one knows what the future brings, and tragedy can strike at any time. Before you dismiss the idea, it may help to consider a few reasons why you need a will.

What does a will do for you?

Most everyone knows that a will outlines who you want certain property to go to after death. That's only one of its most common uses. Other important uses include the following:

  • It helps avoid a more complicated probate process. Dying without a will means that surviving family members must go through additional steps in order to settle your estate.
  • It allows you to name a guardian for your children if you have any. Otherwise, the court could place your children with someone you never would have chosen.
  • You get to decide who handles your estate. Without a named executor, the court will decide who handles these matters.
  • Dying without a will could leave out people and charitable organizations from inheriting anything from you even if you intended otherwise.
  • If there is someone that you specifically do not want getting anything from your estate, you may be able to disinherit that person in your will. Some exceptions may apply to this, but an attorney could let you know whether you can disinherit a particular person through a will.

The other reason that it's not necessary to wait to draft and execute a will is that you can change it. As you experience changes in your life, you can make modifications or changes to your will as well.

You may need help with your will

An experienced estate-planning attorney could prove invaluable as you draft and execute your will. Your will must meet certain legal requirements in order to remain effective in the event of your death and to stand up to any legal challenges from heirs and beneficiaries. In addition, when you begin estate planning, you may learn that you need other documents in order to best take care of those you love after your death, and documents to take care of you if an illness or injury incapacitates you even temporarily.

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