A last will and testament provides an opportunity to not only make decisions on how what you leave behind is handled, but will also do so while complying with the law so that those decisions can carry the weight of the court if necessary. We each do not know most of the time when the time will come. Do you have children still living at home? Who would care for them if you weren’t there anymore? A last will and testament allows you to choose and make an informed choice. Do you have assets and certain items that certain individuals should receive? A last will and testament allows those items to go to those individuals. Not sure who to trust to make any decisions for you? A last will and testament allows you to choose an executor and backup executor(s) that you trust to handle your affairs and carry out your wishes written in your last will and testament or any other guidance you leave them possibly. If nothing else, do you want to do something that most people have not done for themselves? 55% of all adult Americans do not have a last will and testament, only 1 in 3 (32%) African Americans have a last will and testament, and only 1 in 4 (26%) Hispanic Americans have a last will and testament. (2007 study by Harris Interactive for Martindale-Hubbel) Other studies more recently have found that number to be even higher as much as 65% of adult americans do not have last will and testaments. The numbers are terrible for those under 35 years old and better for those over 55 years old. In my opinion the number should be close to 99% or even 100%. The costs are usually no higher than many spend on cellphones or eating out each month. They also aren’t only for people with alot of “stuff”. There will be a plan in place when you die. The question is do you want to follow your own plan, like a last will and testament, or one that the State creates for you?
Even more troubling are the reports that as many as 71% do not have a living will or medical directive document. These documents let you decide when to have the plug pulled, who to make medical decisions for you if you can’t, and give guidance to your family and medical professionals. We have all heard of the terrible cases of family having to go through the courts to get powers and permissions to make decisions for comatose loved ones.
A great New Year’s Resolution is to have a Last Will and Testament written. Why? Because you can immediately fulfill that resolution by taking the time and money to contact a lawyer and get it done in a matter of days or weeks.
Feel free to contact our office in Winder, Georgia if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment to go over your situation and have a last will and testament drafted shortly thereafter for your review.
We are excited to have this blog and the opportunity it provides for us to keep a record of what is going on in the law and keep our clients or readers informed. We are proud to serve the Winder, Georgia and Athens, Georgia communties’ and surrounding counties.