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Myth: Only the Rich Need Wills

 Posted on September 12, 2012 in Estate Planning

According to a report recently done by Consumer Reports, over 55% of the United States population does not have a will. Most people polled believe that wills are for those who are very wealthy. That could not be further from the truth. Everyone over the age of 18 needs to have a will and think about doing some estate planning.

There are three major considerations when thinking about estate planning. If you have property, it needs to be allocated to someone. If you have any money, that needs to be allocated as well. Also, if you have young children, have you thought about who you would want to take care of them if you were to pass away before they become of age?

Having minor children is perhaps one of the best reasons to have a will. There have been many horror stories about people fighting over the custody of children who have recently lost a parent so that they can take financial control of the child. If you have a will, you will be able to name a chosen guardian instead of having a court make that important and final decision for you.

Having a will drafted is not difficult, especially when you have a qualified Illinois estate planning lawyer to guide the way. You will need to have the basic information for everyone to be named in the will, including names, addresses as well as dates of birth. You will want to gather a list of all of your assets including bank accounts, investment accounts, IRAs, stocks and real estate. Make a clear list of all of your expenses and debts, taking care to not leave anything out. Make sure that you list your mortgage, student loans, consumer loans, auto loans, etc.

Your estate planning lawyer should be the one to tell you the things that are important and the things that are not. Do not take it upon yourself to decide. Do take it upon yourself not to be one of the 55%.

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