Dealing with a loss of a beloved is heart-breaking and soul-crushing. It’s made harder when there are legal matters to attend to.
From who gets what, to the children, a legal document is needed. This is called a will.
While it might not be the most genial thing to think about, making a will is crucial for families. Whether you’re young or old, single or married, with children or without, you need a will.
A lot can go downhill if you die without a will. It’ll be up to the state to decide how your assets will be distributed. That might not align with what you wanted.
If you have juvenile children, the state will also determine who will care for them and be their legal guardian.
Therefore, it’s crucial to have a will to rest in peace, knowing that your family is taken care of according to your wishes.
Before Making a Will:
A will is a legal document stating how you want your assets to be distributed after you die. It’s essential to have one so your family knows what to do and what not to do with your belongings.
It is a misconception that wills and estate planning are challenging endeavors. They really aren’t. In fact, it’s vital to ensure that you have all your bases covered. Here are some things you need to do before creating a will:
Gather all your assets: Everything from your savings and investments to your jewelry and furniture.
Make a list of your debts: It includes any loans, credit card debt, or money you owe to others.
Choose an executor: This person will carry out your wishes and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your will.
Choose a guardian for your children: If you have young children, you need to choose someone who will care for them if something happens to you.
Express your opinions about the distribution of your assets: It includes who gets what and how much they get.
Write it all down: Once you have all the above information, you need to write it down in a legal document.
Sign and date the document: Make sure you sign and date the paper before witnesses.
How to Select an Executor
The executor is the person who will make sure that your wishes are carried out after you die. They will have to deal with your assets, debts, and beneficiaries. Therefore, it’s essential to choose someone you trust and who can handle such a responsibility.
Here are some tips for choosing an executor:
Hire someone dependable and organized: The executor will have to deal with any paperwork and legal documents. Therefore, they need to be responsible and organized.
Choose someone honest: The executor will have access to your assets and finances. Therefore, you need to choose someone truthful and trusted with your money.
Choose someone impartial: The executor should not have any personal stake in your will. They should be evenhanded and tried and true when carrying out your wishes.
Reasons to Create a Will:
It may give you a headache and heartache to think about dying and leaving your family behind, irrespective of your age. But, it is crucial to have a will in place for the following reasons:
Protect Your Family:
A will can protect your spouse and children from inheritance disputes. You spend your life protecting your family from various dangers and disasters.
A will can protect them from the most significant threat – fighting over your assets after you’re gone. It can also protect them from creditors and predators.
During the course of your life, you work hard to provide for your family and build a comfortable life for them. A will can ensure that they don’t lose everything you’ve worked for after you’re gone.
Ensure That Your Wishes Are Carried Out:
A will allows you to state your wishes clearly and in writing. It ensures no perplexity or misunderstanding about what you want to happen to your assets after you die.
It could include what part of your property goes to whom, how your debts should be paid off, and who should care for your minor children.
Without a will, your family would have to guess your wishes, leading to arguments and disputes.
Save Your Family Money:
Property taxes, probate fees, and estate administration costs can eat up a large chunk of your estate. A will can help minimize these costs and maximize the value of your estate.
Probate is the legal process of proving the validity of a will and distributing the deceased’s assets. It can be a lengthy and costly process.
Honestly, no one wants their hard-earned money towards legal fees and taxes. But, if you have a will in place, it can help to speed up the process and minimize the costs.
A will can help ensure that your family keeps more of your money.
Make Things Easier for Your Family:
Your death will be a difficult time for your family. They will have to deal with the pain of losing you and the practicalities of settling your estate.
A will can help make things easier for them by taking care of your death’s legal and financial aspects. It will allow them to focus on grieving and moving on with their lives.
A court sees many disputes between family members who are fighting over the estate of a loved one. It can be avoided if you be proactive and choose to write a will while still breathing.
Your Medical Wishes:
If you become incapacitated, a will can state your wishes regarding your medical treatment. It includes whether you want to be kept on life support or whether you want to be cremated.
It can avoid stress and confusion for your family during an already difficult time.
Make Gifts and Donations:
A will allows you to make gifts and donations to charities and other causes that are important to you. You can use your will to leave a gift for your favorite charity or donate your organs.
The ability to leave a gift is a solid incentive to have a will because it lets your legacy live on and reflect your values and interests.
In addition, estate tax up to $13,000 is excluded, so you’re also increasing the value of your estate for your heirs and beneficiaries.
Ensure you know the most recent restrictions since they may change yearly.
Writing a will may seem daunting at first, but it comes with a lot of peace of mind. It’s better to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.
The cost of not having a will is much higher than making one. Your family will thank you for it.
Have you set up a will already? What tips can you share about the process of making a will?