Most people do not have a Will. The older and wealthier you are, the more likely you are to have a Will. The younger and less educated you are, the less likely. A recent Gallup Poll detailed who has a Will and who does not. Sixty eight percent over 65 have a Will and only 14% under 30 have a Will.
The primary reason to have a Will is to ensure your wishes for transferring your property are followed, to avoid protracted legal proceedings over your property and to ensure your spouse and children are taken care of properly.
In Connecticut, New York and other states If you die without a Will state law determines who receives your property. The state law reflects the legislature’s guess as to how most people would dispose of their estates. Do you like their judgement? Who do you want to decide what happens to your kids?
Often people will write a Will because of certain events or upon reaching a certain age. A milestone birthday, getting married, having children, getting sick, someone close to you dying, can all trigger the urge to have a Will.
Can you draft your own Will? Sure. Can you use and online service to prepare a Will? Sure. Should you? My view is no.
Based on the calls I get, you need a lawyer or you will sign a Will and will not have considered many important things. What passes under the Will? What is distributed by operation of law? Per stirpes, per captia, estate taxes, Medicaid, Social Security, assets that pass outside the Will, joint property, beneficiaries, guardians, trustees, and executors are all issues and choices that need background, advice and consultation.
But hey, you can buy an online suture kit and sew up your own arm too.