A Will is a legal document that states who you want to get your money and your property when you die. In Maine, anyone aged 18 or older who is of sound mind can make a Will. When you write your Will, you list all your property and who you want to give it to after you die (these people are called your beneficiaries). You may also designate your Personal Representative, the person who will carry out the wishes you specify in your Will and distribute your property. You can change your Will at any time so long as you are of sound mind. Otherwise, it’s only final at your death.
A good Will can prevent family members and others from fighting about your property in probate court. Here’s an example: Let’s say you have a long-time unmarried partner and you have children from a previous relationship. If you pass away without a will, Maine law provides that your children would inherit your property and not your partner. This may or may not suit you. But, you have the power to change this if you have a Will.
If you want to make sure a certain person gets a special item such as jewelry, make a Will! If you want to leave money to a favorite charity, make a Will! If you want your close friend, not your only living relative, to have most of your money or property, make a Will!