Many Georgia residents assume that because they do not have a large estate, they do not need to prepare a will. What many fail to realize is that a will is an important and often necessary document. In fact, wills are created to benefit the family that is left behind when one dies.
One thing that a will does is name an executor who will be responsible for handling the individual's affairs upon death. This is the individual who will make sure the bills get paid and assets are distributed to the correct individuals. Even if someone only owns a car and some furniture, he or she probably owes debt and would like to specify who will receive the car and furniture.
Another important thing a will does is allow a parent to specify who will take care of minor children, if necessary. Without a will, a Georgia court would have to make this decision. Most parents want to have some say in who takes care of their children and how they are raised.
In theory, each Georgia resident has a will; for those who plan ahead, they have taken the time to write a will stating their wishes. However, others have procrastinated and have thus, by default, chosen to go with the state's statutory plan. There is an established policy for how property is divided when a person dies without a will. While this may turn out to be the way the individual would like his or her property to be distributed, it also could mean that some distant relative could end up with a share when the estate holder never had any intention for that individual to inherit anything. Wills are an important part of taking care of loved ones; experienced legal counsel can help one review his or her situation and determine what needs to be done.
Source: CNBC, "Think you're not rich enough to need a will? Think again", Deborah Nason, Oct. 24, 2017