Do I Need a Will in Alabama?
No matter who you are, your education or background, your finances or number of family members, having a will is one of the smartest things that you can do. At the law offices of Alsobrook & Agricola, LLC, we understand that having a will may seem as though it is something fit only for the rich and famous; however, we firmly believe that a will is beneficial for all.
If you are on the fence about creating a will, consider these facts about why a will is absolutely necessary in Alabama. Then, contact our law offices for your free consultation with our experienced Alabama Will and Estate Planning Attorneys.
The Benefits of Having a Will
First, it is important to understand exactly what a will does, and does not, do. Essentially, your will is a legal document that lets others know precisely what you want to happen to your property and assets when you die. During the course of your life, you can amend your will whenever, or however frequently, you want. Further, your will is not enacted until you die.
The first and most obvious benefit of having a will is that it allows you to decide how your property is divided. By having a will you can ensure that:
- Each member of your family is left a portion of your estate, in a percentage of your choosing;
- Loved ones, friends, charities, businesses, or organizations that you care about are not left out;
- Your estate will not be divided per the state’s intestacy laws (discussed in more detail below); and
- Businesses, properties, heirlooms, and the like are liquidated or divided as you see fit.
But the benefits of having a will are not just limited to the benefit of knowing how your property and assets will be divided; you can also use a will to name a guardian for any minor children you may have, a very important consideration for parents. You can also name a guardian for anyone whom for you are currently acting as the guardian (i.e. a non-minor, disabled adult child).
Creating a will can also eliminate stress and contention between family members, who may fight over certain assets that are not accounted for if you die without a will. For example, daughters may fight over who gets a valued piece of jewelry, causing strife amongst family members. This can be avoided entirely by putting what you want in your will.
Your Estate Will Be Divided Per Intestacy Laws Without a Will
An important downside of not having a will is that your estate will be divided per intestacy laws. Each state sets their own laws for intestate succession, which dictate how an estate is to be divided – essentially, who gets what – when you die. In Alabama, for example, if you have children and a spouse, your spouse automatically inherits the first $50,000 of your estate. Then, the remaining balance is split 50/50 amongst your spouse and children. What’s more, if you have a spouse and living parents at the time of your death, your spouse will only inherit the first $100,000 of your estate, plus half of the remaining balance – your parents get everything else.
The problem with this type of uniform system is that in many cases, people wish to leave more money to a particular party than the law provides for in situations where the decedent does not have a will. If you have a will, your property is divided per the terms of your will.
Contact Our Law Offices To Start Creating Your Will Today
Everyone who is over 18 years of age and is in a mentally sound state of mind has the opportunity to create a will. Creating a will is a wise decision, whether you have a small estate or a large one. At the law offices of Alsobrook & Agricola, LLC, our experienced and compassionate estate planning attorneys are ready to help you make tough decisions when it comes to creating your will. To schedule your free consultation, call our law offices today at 334.737.3718, or contact us online.