What Is a Will?

Learn about Wills in this Howcast finance video with expert Gregory McGraime.

Transcript

A will is a basic legal document that basically designates who would get your assets in the event that you pass away. And, what's really important, and a lot of people don't realize this, is that if you don't have a will and you pass away, often times the state will determine who gets what, and not you. And the state's decision might be very different than what you would have wanted. 70 percent of the U.S. population doesn't have a will, and everybody needs one. The other benefit of a will is that a will is the only place you could name who you'd want to be the guardian of any minor children you have. So again, without a will, it's the state's decision. And do I want it to be the state's decision or do I want it to be my decision? Everybody watching needs to have a basic will. And the last thing that you would want to have happen, if something happened to you, would be to cause your family or your loved ones more harm, just because you didn't plan for this in advance. As far as where you can get a will, often times you can have an estate planning attorney draft a will. If your situation tends to be a little bit more basic, you could probably use some type of will making software that they have online or actually pre-printed will and estate planning forms that you might pick up in an office supply store. I'll let you decide how detailed your situation is, but everybody watching this needs a will to make sure their wishes are met.

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