Having a will is the most important decision one can make. Not only does it protects your assets but your family member as well even after you die. Remember that wills are not just for the wealthy. No matter how much money you have or whatever belongs to you, through your wills, it will be properly distributed to your family or to the people you choose to benefit from those.
Now, what is a Will? A Will is a legal document where you put your wishes in an accurate manner and how you want them to be executed when you pass away. You can appoint an executor who will supervise the process of distribution according to your wishes. It is best if this is made with a wills lawyer working with you. Generally, it contains information such as your beneficiaries as to who will inherit your assets, properties and estates, what and how much are they going to get and when will they receive it. It will also be stated in your Will as to who will going to be the guardians for your minor children if you have one. If you have assets and no one knows about it, the will is the best place to appoint who should get it with some instructions specified. Your Will may also contain your requests regarding the arrangement of your funeral. You can also include a charity to receive some of your assets.
When significant changes happen in your life such as marriage, divorce or re-marrying, note that it affects your will. Changes vary on where state do you belong. In some states, when someone enters marriage, his or her will becomes invalid. When you die within your marriage, the states decide the distribution of those that are in your will. That’s why it is advisable to have your will updated as soon as you marry. But there is an exemption so it will not be revoked or become invalid. Prior to marriage, the will should express that it is “in contemplation of marriage”. Without this, a new will is required. Not the same thing goes for divorce. Whatever is in your will during your marriage, after separation, it shall remain valid. If you didn’t update your will after your divorce and you die, and you name your spouse as your beneficiary, they will be entitled to get the role even if you want it or not. But there are other states that revoked the spouse as the beneficiary after divorce. Other states revoked the whole will. Thus you need to update your will after getting a divorce. Because you are allowed to list individual person in your will, in case you re-marry, you have the opportunity to allocate some things to inherit your children from your previous relationship.
Many believed that all estates, assets, and properties must go through the probate process regardless of having a will or not. This is true. However, having a Will make the process faster. The will directs the court on how you would like assets distributed. If you don’t have a will, the court will make the decision but it will cause delays because proper investigation must be done. And you have no say about it although your spouse, children or parents gets prioritized by the law. If this happens, the process will be very long and it might cause stress to the one you left behind especially for your family members. It might get complicated because some assets or estates maybe prioritized than others. Someone may get the possession of those things that you don’t want them to have. It is advisable to have your Will to avoid the hassle and save time.
Now, if you decide to make a Will, how to start? Decide as to who will help you make one. Of course, you can make you’re your own or use a legal online site. But there are many disadvantages if you opt for this. There are already many horrible stories about people who wrote their own will that end up in troubles. Their heirs went through distress and experienced overwhelming consequences because the Will was written with a lot of errors. Hiring a reputable family lawyer would be your best option. You are expected to pay a decent amount of money but having a Will can save you thousands later. It does not only save you from troubles, you are comfortable knowing that your assets are protected. After choosing an attorney, you get to decide who will receive your money and other belongings. You decide to whom the house will go and who will manage your businesses. You just have to make sure that your list of the beneficiary is up to date. As mentioned, you will need to pick an executor for your Will. Since this person will facilitate in accomplishing your requests and wishes, you must pick someone that is responsible and whom you can trust. You can choose your friend, someone from your bank or your lawyer. Note that this person should receive either pay or a portion of the assets since he’ll be doing an exhausting task. If you have children especially minors, you may want to appoint a friend or a family member to be a guardian. It’s not necessary to ask their permission, you get to choose. But you consider picking two or three. Not everyone is up for a job in taking someone, so it would be helpful if there someone who can take over. The most important in making a Will is that you are realistic and specific. As much as you would want your assets to be divided fairly, this won’t be the case. Let’s say you have three children and one house. You cannot divide the house equally. You must state that they should sell the house and divide the money equally. If you want to attach a letter, you may. You also need some people to sign the will to stand as witnesses. These people do not belong in your list of beneficiaries. Finally, choose a secure location for your will.