Write a Will
If you haven't taken time to write a Will, what's holding you back? Do you think you don't need one or that it's too costly? Do you think you're too young or that you don't own anything of value so what's the point? The point is everyone aged 18 and up needs a Will if for no other reason than to provide directives to loved ones.
Taking time to write a Will is by far the best thing you can leave behind. Doing so speeds up the probate process and ensures property and cash is transferred to the people you want to have it.
There are many ways to write a last will and testament. Some people download templates from the Internet and fill in the blanks. Others purchase do it yourself Will kits or utilize online services such as LegalZoom. Most prefer working with an estate planning service or probate lawyer.
While it's always smart to obtain legal advice, most of what people need to know about writing a Will can be found online. This can be a good starting point to help determine what methods are available and which is better suited for your personal circumstances.
Taking time to learn about what you need, can save you money when consulting with experts.
There are important considerations of writing a Will. First, you need to determine who will be in charge of settling your estate. This could be your spouse, adult children, relative, friend, or an outside source such as a lawyer or estate management firm.
Appointing a personal representative is something that requires careful thought. This person will be responsible for several duties that can be time-consuming. As one who has settled quite a few estates and advised friends on settling loved ones estates, I can tell you it is a mentally- and emotionally-draining experience.
Estate settlement is very difficult to deal with in the midst of grief, but even worse when family members don't get along. Keep in mind the personal representative may have to act as a referee if family disputes over inheritance happen.
Another consideration is choosing who will receive your assets and personal belongings. When people own real estate, businesses, and investment products they should take measures to setup beneficiaries or obtain joint titles so property can easily transfer and avoid the probate process.
Selecting heirs and beneficiaries is usually an easy task, but choosing the property they receive is a different matter. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of sitting down to write a Will is taking inventory of everything you own. It can be helpful to break the project into segments and spend a week or two creating the inventory list.
It isn't necessary to write down everything you own. Instead, make a list of specific items and the intended beneficiary, than leave everything else to the heir apparent.
Wills are necessary for establishing legal guardianship for minor children and an essential element of trusts. They can be used to provide burial instructions, but it is better to inform relatives of preferences and prearranged plans because Wills are usually read days after death.
If you die without writing a Will your estate goes through probate and your belongings are given to heirs in accordance with probate laws. The process takes several months and can place a heavy burden on your family.
Instead of leaving things to chance, spend time learning about estate planning strategies and what it takes to write a Will. We invite you browse our estate planning article library to learn more about probate, trusts, ways to avoid probate, and methods to safeguard inheritance property.
Published on August 22, 2011 at 02:20 AM | Comments: 2