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I’m Blissfully Single, Do I Still Need a Will?

So, you’re single and ready to mingle. You have no kids. Your assets are modest. You don’t need a will, right?

Wrong!

More than 70 percent of adults don’t have a will, and shockingly, only 10% of firefighters have a will.
For some of us, we just haven’t reached a point in our lives where a will seems especially pressing. But making a will isn’t just for people with a spouse and kids, or Kardashian money. A will ensures that your property goes where you want it to go, and it absolutely makes things easier for those left behind. Dying without a will – “intestate” – just makes things harder for everyone.

A will enables you to appoint an executor to oversee the distribution of your assets. By naming an
executor, you can ensure that someone you trust takes on this role. When there is no will, your loved ones are left to guess at whom you would have trusted to administer the estate, and the chance for fighting heightens. The last thing a grieving family needs during a difficult time is infighting over what you would have wanted.

If you care at all about where your assets will go, you need a will. Without a will, your property will be distributed according to New York’s formulaic intestacy statute. This one size fits all provision directs that property be distributed according to lineage, not according to your wishes. This can make a difference in big and small ways. For example, if you are a single person without kids, survived by one or both parents, your assets will go to your parents. But perhaps a parent is in a nursing home, paid for by Medicaid. In that case, the inheritance might make them ineligible for Medicaid. Perhaps your parents are well off, and you would prefer for your money to go to a niece or nephew, an uncle or aunt, a long-term partner or friend, or a particular sibling.

If your parents do not survive you, your assets will go to your siblings, in equal shares. The law doesn’t take into account that one sibling is more well off than another, or that a sibling might have substance abuse problems, or that one sibling hasn’t spoken to you in five years. In other words, it doesn’t necessarily do what you would have done.

Perhaps you have specific items that you wish to leave to particular people, like your autographed baseball collection, or your guitar or motorcycle. The only way to ensure that happens, is with a will.

Along with a will, you should have a health care proxy, which provides direction to your loved ones in the event that you are unable to make medical decisions. This should be someone capable of carrying out your wishes.

Our law firm prepares wills and health care proxies for FDNY firefighters, EMTs, officers, and retirees, no matter if your status is married, single, domestic partnered, divorced, in a relationship, or it’s complicated. And we do it for free. Over 4000 members have taken advantage of our offer. What are you waiting for?! Call us today, it’s easy, and it’s free!

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