Why Should I Have A Will?

Posted by: Jul 05, 2022By Brian Stutheit

Even if you don’t have lots of assets, there are reasons to consider having a Will. Some of those reasons are:

  1. You can leave something to friends, step-children, or charities. If you die without a will in Colorado, State law controls what happens to your assets. Your close family members get your stuff. Colorado law does not provide that anything goes to non-family if you die intestate (without a will).
  2. You can disinherit family who may get your stuff if you die intestate.
  3. You can name your executor, and provide whether the court closely or loosely supervises the wind up of your affairs. You can state whether your executor may be paid for their time, for their expenses, or not paid at all.
  4. You can use a will, or a trust, to protect your heirs from their own bad financial decisions or creditors.
  5. You may designate a guardian for your minor child or children and thereby minimize court involvement in the care of your child if you die. When you leave a child behind too soon, it is not just a matter of sweeping out your apartment. 

Sometimes, people prepare their own wills believing that the will governs who will inherit their assets when in fact, the title (ownership) of various accounts or real property, for example, as joint tenants, or beneficiary designations for IRAs, life insurance and certain other assets, control the distribution. This is a reason why writing your own will, or using forms available online, is rarely sufficient to accomplish your goals.

For a good discussion of many issues, including wills, powers of attorney, Medicaid, social security, guardianships for the disabled, and other important issues, see: