Pennsylvanians often wonder whether or not writing a will is worth it. Why not just save the legal fees and leave it up to the state to decide who gets what? The easy answer is that how the state divides up assets and what the original owner wanted or intended may not coincide.
Forbes notes that without a will, people may be able to choose beneficiaries for some assets. These include bank accounts, life insurance policies, retirement accounts and property deeds. However, there are other considerations that need addressing. For example, who gets the car grandpa spent the past ten years restoring to its former glory? Who takes care of the minors or other dependents left behind? How will they be cared for? These are the issues that writing a will may tackle.
ABC News notes the importance of thinking carefully when selecting witnesses and executors. The executor must be responsible and willing to see the final wrapping up of the deceased’s affairs all the way through to the end. In case this person becomes ill, incapacitated or passes away, it is wise to choose a backup executor.
One of the most important things people forget is letting the right people know that a will exists, as well as where it is. A will that no one knows of or where to find cannot be executed. In these instances, the state laws may take effect instead. Finally, it is important to ensure the will is kept up to date. Otherwise, it may include provisions for assets that no longer belong to the deceased, or which have multiplied in value since then and could have been dispersed between different family members.