There are a lot of misconceptions about estate planning and specifically, drafting wills. To answer a common one – no, they are not just for the wealthy and elderly. It’s understandable why so many Americans put off estate planning or in particular, writing a will. Who actually enjoys thinking about where your assets will go when you pass away? The good news is that it does not have to be an uncomfortable process. In fact, some people take comfort in deciding who inherits what when the time comes. For anyone questioning whether or not to write one, the answer is yes. Talk to an estate planning attorney about creating a plan that works best for you and your family.
Understanding Estate Planning
Estate planning is the process of creating a plan of where and who your assets will go to in the event of your passing. Almost everyone has an estate and owns some type of property. If you have a home, car, a bank account with funds, life insurance, furniture, investments, or personal possessions, then you have assets and can decide who will get your items if the time comes to that.
Who Needs a Will?
Although the question can seem ambiguous, it is fairly simple. Everyone should have a will, as it is the most basic, binding legal document that dictates where and who your properties will go to upon death. If you have a family and kids who are reliant on you or a partner you are not legally married to, then you’ll especially need to write a will.
Benefits of a Will
In short, the benefits will allow you to:
- Have a say when you no longer are able to
- Provide for family, friends, etc
- Pass along your assets/properties the way you’d like
- Have a say on who will be a legal guardian if you have children under the age of 18
- Arrange for management of your property/possessions
- Avoid probate
It’s important to always be prepared in the event of a tragedy. Unfortunately, the unexpected can happen, and you’ll want to make sure the people left behind are going to be taken care of. Without a will, a court will make decisions on your behalf. This process is called probate, and it is often a lengthy and costly process.
The Requirements to Write a Will
If you meet the following criteria, you are eligible to write a will:
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must be made voluntarily
- The right state of mind and fully understands the nature of the document
- Needs to be in writing
- Signed by two witnesses that are present during the creation of the will
What Should Be Included in a Will?
Everybody’s will can differ from others since everyone has different life circumstances. However there are some major factors to consider when writing a will, and you should give it thought prior to getting legal help.
Factors such as who will look after your children under 18, who you want to benefit from your will, who will be the executor, and what properties/possessions you have should all be listed.
Get Help from a Lawyer Today
If you are considering drafting a will and are unsure about where to start, speak with a will lawyer today. They are experts at wills and estate planning and will make sure it will serve the best interests for you, your friends, your family, and anyone else that will be included in your will.