Some people today suggest that not everyone needs a will because of the many other methods of transferring assets. However, everyone would benefit by at least having a simple will.
There are many different ways to transfer assets after you pass away. You can create all sorts of different trusts. You can title property as joint owners. You can make financial accounts payable on death.
These are all ways to transfer assets that would override any will that you write. Because all these different tools are available, some have suggested that not everyone needs a will today.
In response, however, Forbes notes in “Do You Really Need A Will?” there are still many reasons to have a will.
Anyone with minor children should have a will because, in most jurisdictions, it is the document through which you can appoint the guardian of choice for your children. Other instruments can be used to provide assets for a child, but only a will is available to state who should take care of the child.
Even if you do not have a child, you probably have personal property that is not easily handled in other legal instruments. If you want to have a say in who gets that property, then a will is necessary to do so.
That there are other ways to transfer assets after you pass away is wonderful and an estate planning attorney can help you navigate through the ways to find the best options for your unique circumstances.
Nevertheless, a will is still necessary for things that cannot be included in those documents. For that reason expect your estate planning attorney to prepare a will for you, even if it is a very simple one.