When estate planning, it is important to create a will. The purpose of creating a will is to insure that your feelings and wishes are upheld after you have passed. In your will and also through your other estate planning, you should have made it clear who is inheriting what assets.
Your will needs to be as clear and thorough as possible if you want to avoid a long and drawn out probate process for everyone involved. One of the best ways to ensure that your will is going to stand up in court is to seek some legal advice. There are many ways to create a will at home and online, but it is important that you speak with legal counsel to insure that your will will be upheld.
Even though lawyers can be expensive, it is well worth the investment to protect your assets and everyone included in your will. When estate planning it is important to make sure that your will contains a few pieces of vital information so that it will be considered a valid will. The important information to include is a thorough list of all of your assets, a complete list of beneficiaries, and detailed plan of your wishes for distribution. The next step is to then have it reviewed by someone who is knowledgeable in probate. The last important step is to keep it up-to-date.
After you create your will, you still need to keep it current. If something major changes in your life concerning your assets or beneficiaries, it needs to be documented into your will. The beneficiaries that are listed in your will could change because of relationship issues or death. Not keeping your will up to date can cause major problems after you pass, leading to a probate battle. Estate planning can be a very stressful time in your life. It is sometimes difficult to make decisions about the assets that you have worked hard for over the span of your life. It is important to have your final wishes heard and upheld. By creating a will, keeping it updated, and having it reviewed by a legal representative is the best way to insure your will survives probate.
Perhaps, but when you do; who do you want to get it? If you fail to have a will created, then there is no telling where your property and money will end up. Putting off your estate planning until it is too late may be the biggest mistake you could ever make. As a matter of fact, the State of New York may inherit 40 Million dollars from a recently deceased real estate developer that failed to create a will.
When someone passes away without a will, their property can be divided at the discretion of the state. This is known as dying intestate. I don’t know about you, but the thought having all my dearest possessions rifled through and divided up without having any say so is hard to accept. If you share my sentiment, then you will likely agree that estate planning is very important.
That being said, I want to stress that failing to have your will prepared by a licensed and experienced attorney could be as bad as not having a will or trust. After you pass, your will we be used to determine where and how to distribute your assets. This process is known as probate, which means “the proving of a will”. If your will is not legally sound, then some or all of your wishes may not be honored. Hiring an attorney with estate planning expertise will safeguard against this.
Now that you know why a will is a must have, here are a few things you should be sure to include in yours.
Determining how you want your final arrangements handled is not something that most of us look forward to. Adding clear directions to this portion of your will makes it easier for your family members to make sure your final wishes are granted.
When people think of a will, asset distribution is what they commonly think of. As the name implies this section will allow you to dictate how your assets are distributed, but certain items such as joint property cannot be covered in this section.
Restrictions and Stipulations
This is where you will be glad you have hired an estate planning attorney. Depending on which state you live in, there will be several rules, regulations, and guidelines that dictate the specifics of how certain property is handled. An experienced attorney can help you navigate this section.
Ultimately, no matter how many or few assets you may have, estate planning is necessary. The best way to be sure it to hire a licensed attorney to help you make or review your current will.