leatha reams will

Do You Need a Will? Most Older Americans Do Not Have One

According to a study by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, published through the TheStreet, “…nearly half of Americans over 55…have no will.” The cost is not an issue. Most put it off until it is too late.

“It can be arduous in getting clients to address that question few Americans like discussing,” said Dennis Nolte, vice president and financial advisor at Seacoast National Bank in Florida and a certified financial planner.

TheStreet, “Nearly Half of Older Americans Dont Have Wills or Estate Plans,” https://www.thestreet.com/personal-finance/nearly-half-of-older-americans-don-t-have-wills-or-estate-plans-14858171

Putting it off until later is easier. But when is later? I still believe cost is a worry. A simple estate plan should average $450-$650. It increases with custom language. But the important question is whether a Will is even needed? As an attorney, my answer is maybe yes and maybe no.

Without a Will, your estate is distributed pursuant to the Colorado Revised Statutes. If you are married and have joint assets with the spouse, your estate is fairly secure: After the death of one spouse, the surviving spouse automatically receives the other half. After the surviving spouse dies, all of your assets will be split among your surviving children. No children? Then it will go to your surviving parents. No surviving parents? Then it will go to your surviving siblings and their descendants. No surviving siblings? Then it will to your paternal and maternal grandparents’ descendants, which include uncles, aunts and potential cousins. If you die without a Will, the default rules find an heir, but it may not be the person you wanted to inherit. A Will solves those uncertainties. You can designate your personal representative. You can designate your funeral and burial wishes. Most importantly, you can designate your heirs. We have some questions to think about here.

If you are thinking about executing an estate plan or may need to review an old one, please call the Grand Junction Estate Attorneys at 970-242-7847.