Matthew Fassnacht Discusses When You Should Make a Will

Matthew Fassnacht
5 min readFeb 2, 2022


Before making any large purchase, many people consider what would happen if they passed suddenly and left no heir to take charge of their belongings. Matthew Fassnacht, Founder of Meridian Investments Partners of Dunwoody, Georgia, believes that this is why so many people think about making a living will, in addition to the traditional last will and testament. A living will can be much simpler than a last will, but it only takes care of your immediate needs. It allows you to maintain control of medical treatment while alive, whereas the last will handles what happens after death.

Even without either document in place, your spouse or children may be able to get your belongings anyway if your death was a result of a car accident. However, if you have a living will, they can petition the courts for rights to your remains and any property you leave behind. On the other hand, a last will bypasses this right while still being able to claim your estate.

What is a living will?

A living will describe the type of medical treatment you do or do not want to receive. It can establish the beginning and end-of-life care, such as ventilator assistance. If you are in a coma and cannot decide whether to be kept alive with machines, your family members may be able to guide your choices by looking at your living will. A medical professional must determine that you lack the mental capacity required for making decisions before following your desires in this case.

Many people keep their living wills secret to avoid conflict with their families. This goal becomes problematic when the person in question needs emergency surgery or medical treatment because their immediate family members may not know about it beforehand. Even then, Matthew Fassnacht feels that knowing what you would want in this situation could be beneficial to yourself and your loved ones.

Some people choose not to make a living will because medical care should always help keep them alive. However, every case is different, and eventually, most people prefer to pass away naturally rather than prolong their life with machines. A person may even wish to die simply by stopping the use of feeding tubes or other equipment, without which they would starve or suffocate. Even though most Americans do not have a living will, you should consider creating one if circumstances change your health.

What is a last will?

A last will and testament is the final request of an individual regarding how their possessions should be distributed after death. A legal representative can draw up this document for you.

Matthew Fassnacht understands that many people use a living will and last will together to ensure they get the medical treatment they desire while still ensuring that their money goes where they want it to. This document must be written before any others because creating a separate document would become difficult or impossible without knowing the number and names of heirs. Once you know who would receive your money and belongings, decide what percentage of your estate that person should receive.

This contract can be used to express any instructions you may have, such as whether someone else should make decisions regarding the children in your family. You should also include how much money each child should receive since this will affect their eligibility for financial aid while attending college. If you are unsure about what to do in these cases, you should consult with a legal professional for assistance.

There are a few rules of thumb that lawyers and financial advisors recommend when asked the question of when to make your living or last will. These include:

When You’ve Gained Some Money or Assets:

If you’ve received a large sum of money from an inheritance, or some other source, then it is time to create a last will and testament. Matthew Fassnacht believes that if the financial situation in your family changes while you are alive or after you pass away, everything will go to the right people at the right time.

When You Have Minor Children:

If you have minor children, regardless of their age or dependency status, it’s best to make a last will and testament. This is because the distribution of your estate would affect them until they are fully capable of caring for themselves. If you are unsure about what to do in this case, talk to an attorney or financial advisor.

When You Moved Into Your Own Home:

Moving into your own home is another occasion to create a last will and testament. Even if you were living by yourself before, having one document that lists all the possessions in your home reduces the possibility that someone could claim something as theirs after your death. For example, if two siblings always shared a room, but only one of them had a will, the other sibling could say that half of those belongings were his or hers. Matthew Fassnacht believes that it’s best to remain as organized as possible both during your life and after you pass away in situations like these.

You should also create a last will and testament if something about your financial situation changes. For example, if you marry someone with children from a previous marriage, then you need to write up a new document to reflect your wishes for how your money and property should be distributed after death. If you have minor children, this is also an important occasion when making a living or last will would become necessary.

When You Are Married:

If you are married, it is prudent to make sure both spouses review these documents together. If either one of you has children from a previous marriage, you should discuss who would become their guardian if something happens to both spouses.

Final Thoughts:

When writing your last will and testament, make sure all executors sign it in the designated space. You should also keep a copy of this document for yourself if anything happens to the original. Keep it with important financial documents like retirement accounts, insurance plans, etc., so that everyone who needs access to them has what they need after you pass away.

Do not forget to update your will when something significant changes about your life or when an event occurs that could affect what happens upon death. For example, if you get married or divorced, have children, own property, change jobs, retire, or open new bank accounts.



Matthew Fassnacht

Chartered Financial Analyst CPA CFP® located in Atlanta, Georgia.