Available for Interviews: Glenn Matecun.
Glenn R. Metecun, CELA, is certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. Here are some talking points about why every woman should have a will:
Wills are not just for the wealthy. Wills are not just for “old people” (whatever “old” means nowadays). Women of all ages should have a Will as part of their comprehensive estate plan. A Will is part of a comprehensive estate plan that protects you while you are here (even if you are incapacitated), and ensures that your personal property, money and home are distributed to your loved ones in the most tax-friendly and efficient way possible.
For women with minor children, do you care who raises your children if you are gone? Of course you do. A Will allows you to appoint a guardian to step in to the parent role if you are incapacitated or after you are gone. If you don’t do it, a probate judge will do it for you, and that judge does not know you or your children, and won’t have a good understanding of who would
be the best fit for your children.
What else do you care about?
- You care about who’s in charge of your property and money after you are gone. That person is called an “executor” or “personal representative” depending on the state. This person inventories your assets, gathers them, liquidates them, pays your outstanding bills, and then distributes your assets to your loved ones. Some people are great at this job, some not so much. Having a Will allows you to put the best person in charge to handle
these duties. If you don’t name this person in your Will, a probate judge gets to pick who’s in charge for you.
- You also care who gets your property or money after you are gone. Without a Will, all states have a default law kicks in and determines where your property and money will end up. That default law may not be consistent with your wishes. Having a Will allows you to name who gets your property and money. And sometimes more importantly, it allows you to say “HOW” someone gets your property. For example, you wouldn’t want
a minor child (or even an 18-year-old “adult” to have unlimited access to his or her inheritance. Your Will can set out restrictions or conditions on an inheritance – for example, Susan receives 50% of my estate, but her share will be held in a separate trust, used for college, and distributed to her when she reaches the age of 25.
- You may care who doesn’t get your property or money. A Will allows you to disinherit one or more people if you would rather they not receive anything from you after you are gone.
Once you have a Will, how often should you update it?
The law changes. Your family changes, your money changes and your health changes. Your estate planning attorney should keep you up-to-date on the legal side as the law changes. But if you have a change in family (birth or death), finances (new job, inheritance), or health, you should reassess your plan.
Planning ahead ensures that you stay in control while you are here, and that your property and money are distributed in the easiest, most efficient, tax-friendly way possible. If you don’t plan, your estate will likely be involved in the time-consuming, expensive and emotionally-draining probate court process, and also place a burden on your loved ones who may or may not know what you wanted.
Interview: Glenn Matecun.
PR Managing Editor
Success In Media, Inc.