Writing a Will
If you're thinking about writing a Will you're making a smart decision. A lot of people put off this task until it's too late and end up making their family deal with a lot of bureaucratic red tape. It takes very little time to put affairs in order and is worth every minute knowing loved ones will know exactly what to do.
There are many ways to go about writing a Will. If you don't own much valuable property a do it yourself Will kit might be all you need. If you own real estate or titled property, you'll want to setup beneficiaries so property can be easily transferred upon death.
The majority of estates undergo a settlement process known as probate. This is mandated in all states and is necessary to gift personal belongings and non-exempt assets to heirs. Writing a Will expedites the probate process and allows for ease of inheritance property distribution.
People that own a lot of property sometimes choose to transfer assets into a trust. All property inside the trust is exempt from probate and can be passed along to beneficiaries shortly after death.
A Will is also necessary when trusts are used because they provide directives regarding estate settlement. There are several kinds of trusts and each serves a unique purpose. A primary benefit of nearly all trusts is inheritance property is normally exempt from estate and inheritance tax.
Another benefit of trusts is the Will remains private, whereas Wills probate is a matter of public record and available for viewing by anyone. When privacy concerns are of importance establishing a trust is the best method of protection.
Wills are very important when people are parents to minor children. This document is used to establish legal guardianship. A lot of people don't realize that guardianship is setup via Wills.
If the unthinkable should happen and a last Will is not in place, children could be placed in foster care until relatives can sort out the details. The last thing children need is additional trauma after losing a parent.
A major consideration when writing a Will is who will be named as probate personal representative or Trustee. Overseeing a trust is normally not as difficult as settling probate estates. Personal representatives are entrusted with fiduciary duties and should be capable of acting in the best interest of the estate.
In some situations, personal representatives take a lot of heat from family members that are unhappy about their inheritance. If there is potential for family disputes over property to arise it might be better to designate an estate planning lawyer as the representative.
The smartest way to ensure inheritance property ends up in the hands of those you want to have it is to talk with a professional estate planner or probate attorney. They can review owned assets and family dynamics to determine which strategies are best suited for your personal situation.
Estate planning shouldn't be complicated and overwhelming. Work with the experts and ask for advice on writing a Will and protecting valuable property. Our estate planning and probate article library offers helpful information to help you get started. We applaud your efforts for taking care of your family and hope we can help you find the resources you need.
Published on August 09, 2011 at 03:39 AM