What is a will? Why create a will? What are the different types of wills? What if I have a will and want to change it? Are there other legal methods that can do what a will does, but better? These are all good questions, and every legal adult (i.e. 18 years of age or older) should at least have a basic understanding about wills and substitution options for wills.
The truth is that many adults do not understand how wills operate, and even more do not have a will. In fact, some studies show that anywhere from 50% to 70% of all adults do not have a will.
It is very likely that the number one reason why adults don’t have a will is because people hate talking about the subject of death. Face it – death is an awkward subject. But as we will show in the article, if you don’t properly prepare a will or will substitute, the government ends up doing it for you through the laws of intestate succession.
When the government decides where your property and assets go, it is almost inevitably done at greater expense and time than if you had done it yourself. So, the key is to avoid the government’s involvement.
In this article, we’ll discuss the basics about a will, why and how to properly create a will, the different types of wills, and methods that can be used that are often better at protecting your property than with a will, known as "will substitutes."
Next, we’ll very briefly go over the "players" in the will process.