Of course, you do. Since that may not be a sufficient answer for many of you, why should you have a will? Should you die without a will, you are dying “intestate”. In this case, the state directs how the deceased’s property will be distributed by creating a hypothetical will according to the state’s intestacy laws. Just as one suit size will not fit everyone, the intestacy laws are not likely to distribute property the way you would have if you had written your own will.
Here are some adverse consequences of not having a will:
- In some states, a spouse’s share of the decedent’s estate will be equal to a child’s. For example, the surviving spouse’s share with one child might be one-half. With 9 children, it will be 1 tenth.
- Some states provide that a spouse’s share is only a life estate with the true owner being the children.
- The survivor spouse may share with the deceased spouse’s parents or brothers or sisters where there are no children.
- Children may be treated equally, not necessarily equitably. Each one’s needs may be different.
- Intestacy may require the administrator to furnish a surety bond thereby raising the cost to administer the estate.
- The court will select the administrator of the estate
In order to make a will, you must be 18 years old and you must be of sound mind.