This is a topic that we don’t like to think about, however it’s one that may create problems for loved ones later on. If you have children or if you possess any assets that you want directed to specific people when you pass away, then you need to have a will. Creating a will will give you control over what happens to your children and your possessions rather than leaving it up to the probate process to decide. If your parents don’t have a will, talk to them about it to ensure they understand the purpose of a will and what happens if they don’t have one.
What Is A Will
A will, or more formally a last will and testament, states a person’s final wishes regarding assets and dependents. It is a legal document that describes what should be done with possessions and assets and may assign custody of minor children. It also names an executor of the estate who will be responsible for administering the estate.
Why Do You Need A Will
A will allows you to make decisions about how your possessions and assets are distributed when you pass away. A will is especially important for people who have underage children so they can assign a guardian and allocate funds to support their children. However, many people think that if you don’t have children you don’t need a will. Even if you don’t have children, if you have anything you want someone to receive upon your death, then you need to make a will.
What Happens To Your Assets If You Don’t Have A Will
If someone dies without a valid will, he or she dies intestate, meaning the state becomes the executor of the estate. The state then decides how to distribute any assets without consideration of the circumstances. Moreover, any blood relative can claim a stake in the estate. The procedure through which assets are legally passed is called probate and this occurs whether you have a will or not. During this process, a judge will give legal permission for assets to be passed on and this can be a lengthy and complicated process without a will.
How Can You Make A Will
A will must meet certain legal requirements by the state for it to be valid so it is recommended that you make a will with the assistance of a legal professional. Consider the following questions to help you make your will:
If you have underage children, who do you want as their legal guardian?
Who do you want to be your executor of estate? This person will ensure all of your wishes are executed and your finances are managed.
What assets do you possess? This includes property, bank accounts, retirement accounts, investments, life insurance, and any possessions or family heirlooms that you want to direct to someone.
What beneficiaries do you want to inherit your estate? This includes loved ones or organizations.
What debts do you have? This includes any loans and credit cards.
What documents do you need to gather? This includes any existing wills, marriage and divorce records, prenuptial agreements and deeds.
You can go to an attorney or make your will with an online legal service once you are ready. One option is LegalZoom, a company that provides easy to use, online, self-guided legal services. For only $89 you can have peace of mind knowing that you are in control of your estate plan.
Your last will and testament will be specific to your state, personalized by you and backed by experienced attorneys. Your information is secure and backed by Legal Zoom’s $50,000 Peace of Mind Guarantee.
Don’t put it off just because it’s a sensitive topic. Take control of your finances even after you aren’t here. Help your parents or a loved one get peace of mind by making a will.
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