Let’s start off with your excuses for not having a will. Perhaps you’re too busy, you don’t have any assets to distribute (everyone has something to pass down), you’re much too young to worry about having a will, or you simply forget to get one written up.
If you don’t have a will in place, or an estate plan, as outlined in ‘Prepare your family with an Estate Plan’, it’s time to visit your attorney or a well known online service to draft a will.
HereToday provides a platform to share and distribute the right information to your executor and loved ones at the appropriate time. We are not a legal service; as such, please seek professional advice when creating any legal document. In this blog we’ll outline a few reasons why every person should have a will.
Let’s cover the basics
A will, also known as a last will and testament, is a legal document that expresses your (testator) wishes as to how your property (assets) should be distributed upon your death. The document will name the person (executor) who manages the distribution of your property. In the event you have children, a will enables you to designate who will care for them upon your passing. Learn more about the processes an executor completes to close your estate.
Should you pass away without a will, known as ‘intestate’, your state’s intestacy laws will dictate how your property is distributed. In this situation, property is defined as any assets you own, including real estate, financial accounts and stock portfolios, and anything else of value owned by you. Factors such as marital status and children will guide the laws of intestate succession. Typically your close relatives, like spouse, children and parents, will become the beneficiaries of your estate; however, if no relatives can be located, the property will go to your state.
No matter your age or income level, everyone needs a will
These are the typical elements found in a will prepared by a legal professional:
- Executor: the person or persons who will follow your instructions expressed in the will.
- Guardianship: the person you’ve selected to raise your children.
- Property (Assets): where, who, and how your assets or personal property, including ‘real property’ is distributed.
- Final Arrangements: instructions for your remains, funeral and or celebration of life services.
Proper estate planning can be complicated; as such have an attorney craft your will. This legal instrument will provide peace of mind to you and your family members. Here’s a list of national estate planners associated with the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Don’t delay! Contact a local estate planning attorney today.