Wills 101- A plan for after you’re gone
What is a will?
A will is a document that establishes your wishes regarding what should happen to your property and assets after you die. A will can also appoint a guardian for minor children.
Why do I need a will?
A will ensures that your assets and property are distributed according to your desires. Without a will, the laws of intestacy in your state will determine how your property is distributed. Additionally, if you have minor children, a will allows you to appoint a guardian for them in the event of your death. The court will decide who should care for your children if you do not have a will.
What should I include in my will?
Your will should list all of your property and assets and how you wish for them to be distributed. It would be beneficial if you also named an executor for your will, who will be responsible for carrying out your requests after you have passed. Additionally, if you have minor children, you should appoint a guardian for them in your will.
How do I make a will?
You can either draft your own will or hire an attorney to help you. If you draft your own will, it is important to ensure that the document is properly executed and witnessed. If you hire an attorney to assist you with your will, they can help ensure that the document is adequately managed and witnessed.
Can I change my will?
You have the ability to change your will at any time. However, ensuring that any changes you make are correctly executed and witnessed is important. Otherwise, the court may not recognize the differences.
What happens if I die without a will?
When passing without a will, your property and assets will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy in your state. If you have children, the court will still appoint a guardian for them. Therefore, having a valid will in place is important to ensure that your property and assets are distributed to your child(ren) and that your children are taken care of by the guardian of your
What is not covered in a will?
What is not covered in a will?
Many things are not covered in your will. The first thing that is not covered is your retirement accounts. Retirement accounts have beneficiary designations that control who gets the money in the account when you die. Your life insurance policy is also not covered. Life insurance policies have beneficiary designations that control who gets the death benefit when you die. Bank accounts often have payable-on-death (POD) or transfer-on-death (TOD) beneficiaries that control who gets the money in the account when you die. Brokerage accounts often have transfer-on-death (TOD) beneficiaries that control who gets the money in the account when you die. Property that is held in joint tenancy with someone else will also not be covered solely on your will. Jointly owned property passes to the surviving owner(s) when one of the owners dies. This also includes property that is held in a living trust. Property held in a living trust passes to the trust’s beneficiaries when you die.
A will is a valuable document that can help tie up loose ends when you’re gone. A will should not be procrastinated if you want to ensure security for the people you leave behind. Please get in touch with our office about wills or estate planning. We would be happy to assist you.