Do I Need a Will?

The short answer is yes, you need a will.

Most of us start thinking about a will once we have children or once we begin to acquire any assets. But if we die without a will, Arkansas law decides how our possessions will be divided. On the surface, that may seem fine—one of your relatives will get your stuff. If you have kids, they are first in line. If not, your spouse is next in line. If you are not married and you don’t have kids, your parents inherit. The list continues through all imaginable relatives until, finally, if no relatives exist who could inherit, your property goes to the county you lived in at the time of your death.

The problem with letting the law decide how your property is divided is that we all have things that are precious to us but have no real value. Your cousin Suzy might be the one that ultimately inherits all of your property, but will she really appreciate your battered sewing machine or your well-loved, favorite over-stuffed chair? On the other hand, your best friend might feel cherished to have those things after you are gone, as a reminder of your time together.

With a will, you can choose who gets your things, whether they have any monetary value or whether they have just sentimental value.

Perhaps the most convincing reason to make a will is to save your loved ones from having to make choices about your things while in the midst of grieving. If you have spelled out your wishes, there are no choices to make and your loved ones can focus on celebrating your life.

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