Importance of a Will

Amy Winehouse’s death at age 27 illustrates the importance of having a Will, at any age. Ms. Winehouse and Blake Fielder-Civil were married briefly. Under English law, marriage negates any Wills made before the marriage, but if a couple divorces and there is no new Will, the ex-spouse is the favored beneficiary. Ms. Winehouse updated her Will to ensure that Fielder-Civil, who is currently in jail for burglary and possession of an imitation fire arm, would not inherit any of her estate. Under Winehouse’s Will, her estate estimated at $16 million, will go to her parents and her brother.

In Illinois, if you die without a Will, state law will determine who will inherit from you. If you are married, your spouse gets one-half of your estate and the rest is divided equally among your children.

If you have young children who will need a guardian, a Will is an important document to put in place to allow you to nominate that guardian. Planning your estate with a Will and a Trust is the best way to ensure that your assets are distributed as you want without the value of your assets and the beneficiaries who receive them made public.Consult your estate planning attorney for further information.