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Do you really need a will?

Like many Massachusetts residents, you may have a happy, unfussy life. It may include a spouse, children and possibly grandchildren in a simple familial situation. You may have uncomplicated financial assets and a home or even two. As a result of this straightforward situation, you may be wondering whether you need to have a will or whether your property can just pass to your surviving relatives. 

According to The Boston Globe, it is vital to have a will because otherwise your estate gets divided according to a fixed equation of proportions and amounts. This may not seem problematic when you are planning to divide your estate equally among your children anyway. However, there are many nuances that need to be considered when doing your estate planning that make a will a necessity.

First, your assets need some contemplation. You may assume that for the sake of familial harmony and justice, all of your property should be split uniformly between your children. However, depending upon your individual circumstances, it might make more sense for one child to inherit the family home while another is bequeathed the equivalent sum in financial accounts. Or, there may be property such as real estate that you own with family members who are not part of your immediate family.

Also, like many people you may not realize that certain assets such as retirement plans and life insurance do not pass through your will. Rather, they are given to the person or persons who are listed as beneficiaries on the accounts. They must be updated if your inclinations have changed and their sums should be factored into your total estate. 

This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice. 

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