A valid will is almost always preferred to having no document at all, even when the creator of the will, also known as a testator, has only one child and intends to leave all assets behind to that child. It’s always advantageous for a testator to also name an independent executor who is capable of managing these affairs in the event that the estate has need of administration. While there are less issues for most estate planning strategies for a person with only one child, you still must be prepared for planning ahead.

If an independent executor is not named in the will, it can take more time, legal work, and money to administer the estate. In the event that the testator changes his or her mind after establishing the will and wants to leave some of their property to someone else, then a will is almost definitely needed.

If you have one child and don’t intend to leave behind everything you own to them, you still have important decisions to make about who else might receive benefit from your estate, like a charity or alma mater.

Even with one child, you want to ensure you’ve outlined your individual plans for potential incapacitation. If you are unable to make decisions for yourself, have you appointed someone else to act in your stead? These documents can support you during your life while your will is in place to support your child and other beneficiaries when you pass away.

There are many different motivations to create a will even if you assume that your estate is relatively streamlined since most of the assets will be passing to your one child. Other benefits of creating a will with the help of an attorney include tax planning, estate planning, and peace of mind. You should never make any final determinations in your own estate planning until you have the time to speak to an experienced attorney.  

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