Legal Corner: Time to Get a Will Done

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By Rakesh Rampertab, Esq.

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed more than half a million lives in the United States, and people are still dying. Our own New York City is still a very high-risk locale. Unquestionably, this pandemic has given many a scare—or reason to be deeply concerned about life, or perhaps what should be important and yes, our family and loved ones.

Said another way, it is a time to be concerned about the state of our affairs and what will become of our assets that we have worked so hard to acquire, should misfortune occurs.

One way to become more prepared for the unexpected is to have a will done. Yes, it is recognized that generally speaking, a will is not something that many think about for the simple reason that people do not dwell on the idea of dying. But if anything is to be learnt from this pandemic thus far, it is to stop assuming that we will be here tomorrow and make a few decisions to be better prepared for the future.

One way to do so this is to get a will drafted. One does not need to be wealthy to have a need for a will. One does not have to be employed or a senior citizen to feel that they should contact an attorney to draft a will. Regardless of how much or little exists, assets have to be distributed (or disposed of) properly to avoid those assets being in the possession of someone (or even the state) unapproved by a departed loved one. Said another way, a will helps to manage a distribution of assets in a way that conforms with the wishes of a departed person.

To elaborate further, having a will drafted is not costly especially when compared with the many tremendous benefits one gets from it. First, it provides a person an opportunity to say how his or her assets are to be distributed when that person is no longer alive to do so in person. That is, a will speaks for this departed person, and judges are bound to comply with what a valid will says. A will consists of a named executor or person named by a departed to ensure that the instructions given in the will are complied with.

Second, a will prevents or reduces disputes between potential beneficiaries (persons named in a will to receive some kind of benefit, gift, or asset) or family members. Third, it defends against mischievous persons who are likely to make suspicious claims that a departed told them that they should get as asset.  Fourth, a will tends to reduce if not prevent altogether, a need for extensive litigation—this saves money and time.

In short, a will is a very powerful and important document as it has the authority to speak for someone who is no longer alive. For all of the reasons stated, it makes sense to get an attorney to draft your will.

This article does not constitute legal advice, and is presented here merely for information purpose. This writer and attorney may be reached at (917) 943-1336 or via email at rrampertabesq@gmail.com.

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