Write a Will
There are many reasons to write a Will. The most prevalent is to safeguard estate assets and ensure that loved ones receive the property you want them to have. Wills are particularly important for people with minor children as this document is necessary to establish legal guardianship.
Learning how to write a Will is relatively simple. However, it is smart to hire a professional estate planner or probate lawyer to ensure the Will is considered legally-binding. The process is comprised of developing a list of owned property and establishing beneficiaries to receive inheritance property upon death.
Different types of Wills are used depending on personal circumstances. A married person with minor children would use different legalese than a single person with adult children. Unmarried partners need to implement safeguards to ensure their life partner is recognized. Single persons without children need to establish provisions for gifting their property.
Wills are also used to express burial preferences. If you've purchased prepaid burial services be certain to let the estate executor know where documents are located. Believe it or not, a lot of people don't talk about the type of service they desire or how they want to be buried. This can be a heavy burden for loved ones left making the decision.
It's particularly important to express burial preferences in the last Will if loved ones don't agree with the way you want to dispose of your remains. If you are set on being cremated, but your spouse or adult children are set against the idea, put your desires in writing.
A lot of people use do-it-yourself Will kits because they are affordable. Those who choose DIY should become educated about the process to make certain they include necessary details. This information is easily found online and also available through public libraries.
When writing a Will you'll need to name an estate executor, appoint a guardian for minor children, and establish beneficiaries. An essential element of the Will is taking inventory of property and personal belongings and designating who receives items. This is probably one of the hardest parts of sitting down to write a Will.
How you distribute your property is your business. Chances are high that no matter what you do family disputes over inheritance will arise. I know that sounds harsh, but as a probate liquidator I've witnessed a tremendous amount of dysfunction in court rooms. Families will engage in all-out war over money, real estate, and heirlooms.
Hopefully you're family won't engage in that kind of behavior. If you want to lessen the risk of arguments make certain you write a Will. It can be beneficial to gather family members together and talk about it openly.
Certain assets do not need to be recorded in the Will. This includes any property where beneficiaries have been established such as life insurance policies, joint ownership of property, bank accounts and investment portfolios.
If you don't write a Will your estate will undergo probate and the court will decide who settles your estate and who receives your property. The most time-consuming part of the process is taking inventory and assigning beneficiaries.
Don't leave things to chance. Write a Will and rest easy knowing everything is in order if the unexpected happens. We can help you get started in our probate and estate planning article library. While you're here take a moment to subscribe to our mailing list to receive instant updates of newly published articles.