Why You Need a Will; Not Just for the Rich and Famous


#estateplanning #inheritance #wills


Did you know that without a will, the law of your state determines who inherits your property on your death? Each state has its own one-size-fits- all rule. So not having a will means the state determines who benefits from your hard work over a lifetime. If you have children, it means a court decides who takes care of them. A court will also determine how your money is used to support them.

Creating a will is, believe it or not, an empowering experience. You protect your beneficiaries; you leave instructions for distributing your property, and you name the person who will carry out those instructions. It’s not expensive and it will protect your family and loved ones from conflict. You will feel better because you will have acted to benefit the people you care about.

If you already have a will, you should review it periodically and when major events occur such as a death, a birth, a divorce or changes in economic circumstances.

In this webinar you will learn:
-How to appoint a guardian for minor children.
-The benefits of creating trusts under your will (rather than leaving property outright to your beneficiaries).
-How to avoid conflict and litigation over your estate.
-What a taxable estate is and how to minimize taxes.
-About costs and confusion your heirs face when you die without a will.

Susan Rothwell cropped

About Susan Rothwell:

Susan is a Trusts and Estates and Tax attorney with over twenty years of experience in sophisticated estate planning and administration of estates.

She advises clients on estate and tax planning for wealth preservation; assists clients with gifting, asset protection and transferring wealth to future generations. She prepares Wills, Trusts, Prenuptial Agreements and other vehicles to help clients achieve their goals.

Susan counsels Trustees and Executors on tax, fiduciary and estate matters. She assists small business owners with estate and succession planning.

For the charitably inclined, she creates charitable gifting strategies which maximize benefits to the charity while minimizing taxes for the client.

She advises not-for-profits and charities on tax and exempt status issues.

New York University School of Law
LL.M., Taxation

Columbia Law School
J.D., Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, Articles Editor

Columbia Graduate School of Business

Columbia University
B.A., magna cum laude,
Honors: Phi Beta Kappa

Comments (2)

  1. If you did not list a beneficiary on your 401k or IRA account but listed in the will who you wanted to have your proceeds, will the will have to still go to probate court? No property is involved however there are 2 grown children heirs that were not listed in the will to receive funds. The will was not prepared by a lawyer but was signed and notarized. Not sure if an executor of the estate was listed on the will. If the will is legal how do you go about collecting the proceeds?

    • Dear Myron,
      Beneficiary designations overide the Will

      “Any account that has a beneficiary designation [IRAs, 401(k)s, annuities, etc.] or a payable/transfer on death designation (POD or TOD) will not be governed by your other estate planning documents. If your will says all your assets go to your sister Sally, but your IRA has your brother Bob listed as the beneficiary, Bob will get the IRA.”http://www.savvyladies.org/wp-admin/edit-comments.php#comments-form
      For a detailed explanation see:

Leave a Comment

Please wait...

Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter

Get Savvy about your money! Enter your email address and name below to be the first to know.
Site designed, developed and maintained by ifusion studio.