You worked hard your entire life. And you saved enough money so that your family does not face any adversities. Isn’t it? Precisely why experts suggest creating a will to make a legal binding to spare your loved ones from the ordeal with state probate courts.
But unfortunately, many of you presume that creating a will or a testament is a complicated or lengthy process. Well! That’s an overstatement. However, if you don’t, the following thing might happen!
The state will decide who gets what!
Be honest. Do you want the state to disperse your assets or want it as per your final wishes? It is quite clear that you will always opt for the latter. Let’s understand why it is not a good idea not to leave behind a will if you are hesitant. When there is no will in the picture, as per your state law, they will create a list of people who will be eligible to fill the role.
If deemed necessary, they might choose someone based on the priority list. Ideally, it’s the surviving spouse or registered partner or blood relatives as the preferred choice.
But what if you wanted it to be a bit different?
Obviously, you would never want to leave everything on an outsider! Hence, creating the will must be on the priority list. Don’t know what to do next? Here’s what you should do to create a will of your choice.
Take Note of Debts, Assets, and Beneficiaries
Before creating the actual will, you must collect information regarding your debts and assets. Assets can include anything from financial and retirement funds, investment accounts, or personal property. Make sure to consider sentimental value as well when deciding on the beneficiaries.
You must decide before whether you want to pass the funds or accounts or property as it is. Or you wish to sell the assets first and divide them accordingly. Again, don’t miss out on mortgages, loans, or debts. Only after paying all these outstanding debts will anyone be able to access the remaining assets. Once you clear that, then decide who you wish to give your assets to. Usually, it’s the spouse or the children. But you could donate to charities or share it with your close friends as well.
Don’t Forget to Name a Person Who Will Handle The Whole Process
Since you won’t be there to handle everything on your own, it’s a good idea to name someone you trust completely that will hold the responsibility. You need to be confident enough that the person would not deviate from your wishes or the contents of the will.
The responsibilities would be anything from paying off debts to distributing the remaining assets as per the instructions laid down in the will. You have to tell the person before so that they know where to find documents, including your will, when or in case something happens.
Mention The Name of Guardian (In case there are minors involved)
Many people often think, “We are still young. We don’t need any will.” Ideally, you must have a will in place to protect your minor children from any ordeals later on. This is especially important to understand that life and death are not in your hand. What if you die prematurely? Not that we want that to happen. But why leave everything on state when you can take care of that well in time? Isn’t it?
If you are running a trust, or own a business, make sure to leave a suitable person to handle it and your children until they reach a certain age.
Do you know how to start creating one for yourself?
Ideally, you can resort to different measures to create your will. But, if you want to do it over a period of time, you can opt for an option like online will and find a template of your choice, fill in the missing information, and you will be good to go. However, if you decide on this path, make sure to keep in touch with some legal websites or legal attorneys to understand the nitty-gritty details of creating a will. Doing so, will allow you to avoid any ambiguity or other issues. After all, your legal will must be perfect otherwise it might be declared invalid.
But hold on!
Once you are through with the entire process, you will need witnesses to sign your will. And a few states ask the witnesses to be someone who is not inheriting anything in the will. Moreover, they must be above 18 years old.
This is particularly important if your will is contested in the court. In such a case, these witnesses will help judges to understand the contents of the will.
Many situations occur where a person writes his/her will but forgets to mention the place. You never know about the worst situations. So, it’s necessary you tell the executor or any other person about the place where you’ll keep the will. You must also let them know about the important documents or passwords. Experts suggest safeguarding the original copy in a fireproof safe.
Lastly, review and update your will if something major happens in your life, such as marriage, divorce, or a birth. You need to work on a power of attorney as well and a living will.
A will is an opportunity to safeguard the future of your assets and your loved ones. No one wants their family to face any hurdle in case you are not there. Besides the points mentioned above, make sure to include or consider situations if you have any adult children with special needs.
Never miss out on digital assets. You must provide passwords to someone trustworthy. You can also include your beloved pet in your will. While it might sound a bit early, think about protecting your family and your assets. A little preparation now will make a huge difference later on.
And with online sources available, you can do things pretty comfortably without any hassles.
After losing both parents in the last 5 years, agreed, get your documents in order. It is so important! Great post!