GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Who will inherit your money? For a majority of Americans, it may not be who they would like, because many don’t have a will or an estate plan. August is National Make-A-Will Month, and it’s a great time to make sure your loved ones and your legacy are protected.

Matt Gulbransen with Callahan Financial Planning stopped by the KARE 11 News at 4 to talk about the importance of a will and what you need to know to create one.

“No one wants to sit around and think about what happens if they get sick, or worse yet, pass away unexpectedly,” said Gulbransen says. “But that attitude is leaving you and your loved ones vulnerable. If you don’t have a plan, the state will decide one for you and it will most likely not be the same plan you had in mind.”

A will is the cornerstone of an estate plan. It allows you to say who gets what when you die. A lawyer can help you draft a will or you can do it yourself online. “A will is a good first step,” said Gulbransen. But he warns that it does not cover everything. People should also consider preparing these other documents: financial power of attorney, health care power of attorney, living will, and guardian for children. Also, remember to update beneficiaries.

“There are a lot of moving parts and decisions to make with estate planning,” Gulbransen says. “I recommend you sit down with a financial professional and estate attorney to make sure you and your family are covered.”

You can learn more about Callahan Financial Planning at