Do I Need to Write a Will if…

11 Sep

I recently solicited questions and there are a variety of questions about someone writing a will. Most people will answer this question with a definitive yes (or a definitive no) and even if that is the answer you think should be given, I feel it prudent to delve into the answer to this question and WHY that is the answer.

First, one must understand what a Will is. A Will is a legal document containing instructions as to what should be done with one’s money and property after one’s death. So, a will is only needed by those who plan on dying. If you are not planning on dying, you need to come to grips with your own mortality and understand that you will, in fact, one day cease to exist on this planet.

If you have no money or property, a will is also unnecessary for you. Property includes things like children (which might lead me to have a whole diatribe on baptism, dedication, and conversion, but that is a subject for another blog). If you have no money, no property, and no children, you might need to solicit our help on changing at least the first two, so that you do have money and property, but a will is only for people who have something to give away.

Furthermore, some people have a little money and property, but they really have no concern over whether their money goes anywhere specific. Now, those of you who do not care where your money goes, I will provide you with a will, which gives all of your property, after your death, to me. If you have children, you ought to concern yourself with what happens to them after your death, and you should consult many counselors in your life to determine the best course of action.

Now, let’s say that you don’t take the time to write a will, then what happens? Well, the state of Florida (or, if you are crazy enough to live elsewhere, that state or country) has one written for you. Florida’s default will gives your property to people related to you through your grandparents (i.e., no second cousins and no one added by marriage). If you take neither the time to have a will nor the time to have relatives, then the property escheats to the state.

Many will tell you that escheating is where the state cheats you out of your property. I don’t like to put it that way, because the property has to go somewhere. And until I can convince the Florida legislature to have the property escheat to me, it goes to the state. Nevertheless, that is what happens when you don’t write a will. Therefore, anyone who is going to die, has some property, and cares where that property is going to go, needs to write a will.

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