Thomas Hegeman

Attorney at Law

8-12 Dietz St., Suite 204, Oneonta, NY 13820

Office:  607-432-7952

Fax:      607-432-7987

You (Yes, You) Should Have a Will

            Too many people put off having a basic Will and usually for the wrong reasons.   They think:

 It's too expensive.

It's too complicated.

My family can take care of everything.

I don't have enough money or stuff to need a Will.

     Wrong, wrong, wrong.  Especially that last reason.  Having a Will has nothing to do with how much money you have.  It is about your wishes.  A Will lets YOU determine what happens when you die.  If you don't have a Will, New York State will direct how your property is distributed, basically to your closest blood relatives.  While this may work for some people, there is no flexibility and does not take into account:

Who do YOU trust to settle your affairs?

Who do YOU want to take care of your children if both parents are dead?

What if you want to leave something to someone who is a close friend or want to leave money to charity?

What if you have a mixed family through remarriage and want to leave money to step-children?  Or leave different amounts to different children, or to grandchildren?

These are just some of the decisions YOU can make by having a Will.

Don't Count on Family

     Sad to say, many families (you might be surprised how many) are just not equipped to handle a loved one's affairs without the guidance that a WILL provides.  You would be shocked by how many people "know" what you wanted.  Suddenly, two nieces claim that you "promised" them a piece of jewelry, which you instead wish to leave to your daughter.  In some cases these types of disagreements can lead to long-running family feuds, which are totally unnecessary.  A Will not only lets YOU make the important decisions, it makes it easier on your family, knowing that they do not have to worry about these matters during a difficult time.

It is Not Complex

     Most people need just a basic Will to make sure that their wishes are carried out after their death.  If it turns out that you need a Will with complicated trust provisions and the like I will be happy to recommend several highly qualified attorneys.

It is Not Expensive

     A basic Will can be prepared for as little as $100.  The actual costs will vary with time and complexity, but fee will be discussed at the first consultation and if you decide not to retain me there is no charge for the consultation.

It Needs to Be Done Right

     Unlike some states, New York has fairly strict requirements for wills, especially as far as witnessing goes.  If you prepare your own Will and it does not meet the requirements, New York State courts will handle your estate as if you had no Will.  For this reason, you should have an experienced attorney prepare your Will.

     Properly preparing a Will is not something to be done over the phone or by e-mail.  I like to sit down with a client so that I can take all the necessary information, discuss the various options available to you, and end up creating a Will that fits your circumstances.  One size does NOT fit all.  I want to make sure it is YOUR wishes that get carried out after your death.