Although a will can provide a number of advantages, the majority of Americans do not even have a will. This situation is even more prevalent among younger adults. Only one in six people between the ages of 18 and 34 actually have a will. There are obviously a number of reasons as to why many of those people do not have a will. Whether people are unaware of the advantages, want to spend the money elsewhere, or even do not want to think about the possibility of death, it is important that people understand the benefits of having a will and what having one can do for you.
One benefit to having a will is determining who will be the legal guardian of your children upon your death. This is a very important aspect to those who have minor children. The legal guardian is responsible for the care of your children until they reach the age of majority which is 18 in Tennessee. By explicitly specifying who you want to be the legal guardian, you eliminate any confusion or controversy that would have to be settled by the court. Without a will, the court will appoint a guardian for your children. While the court uses a number of factors to make the determination of a guardian, a parent’s choice can avoid any potential problems with such a large decision.
Similarly, having a will helps to quell any potential disagreements or disputes between family and friends as to the distribution of your assets. The death of a loved one can be an extremely trying and difficult time. Unfortunately, relationships can be strained very easily in such a stressful time even by a disagreement over the distribution of assets and money. Family members may seek to lay claim over certain family heirlooms while others similarly desire the same items. A will can act as a preventative measure to solve these types of problems even before they begin.
One of the biggest benefits to having a will is allowing you to decide where all of your assets and money should go based on preference or need. While each state has laws specifying where assets will go if you die without a will (known as intestacy), these laws are based on statutorily defined relationships rather than certain needs. With each family situation being different, certain families may have unique needs that are not met by the statutory distribution of property. Whether a brother or cousin may need special assistance, creating a will allows each person to specially tailor the distribution of his estate for those specific needs. You may not want to leave such an important decision up to the state without any regard to your family’s needs.
We offer a variety of wills services that we can customize to your specific needs. If you would like to hear more about the benefits of creating a will, be sure to contact an experienced Tennessee wills lawyer. Our team of Nashville-based wills attorneys would be happy to answer any questions that you may have.