Preparing your Will
Preparing a will is a wise and thoughtful decision. It gives your loved ones a clear idea of what should happen to your assets and how you have decided the inheritance. But there are certain deliberations to make before drafting one. Here are 5 things to consider when preparing your will.
Hire the right people
It may be economical to prepare your will without the help of a lawyer. There are numerous websites which allow you to easily fill out the details of how your assets should be dealt with. These sites usually offer a generic solution to creating your will without taking into consideration state-specific nuances in laws. They also do not offer solutions to users about how these laws work. Therefore, it is always wise to consult an attorney from a reputed law firm who is able to guide you through the entire process of preparing a will for a nominal fee. By doing so, you can avoid making mistakes which could cost your family a pretty penny.
Consider all the assets you own, irrespective of what they are
While estate, inheritance, and finances should take up a significant amount of your will, there are other, less significant but relevant assets which should not be ignored. Non-traditional properties include digital assets such as social media account username and passwords and website or domain names. Understanding what you own is important to decide inheritance. If you do not maintain a detailed list of your assets, it may lead to a lot of conflict and confusion during the execution.
Select executors, trustees, and guardians with care
A guardian (or guardians) should be named for your children, if minors, who will oversee their well-being suitably. Putting your child in the custody of the state is not something you want. A trustee, on the other hand, is responsible for the child’s assets, not the child itself. It is advisable not to decide on the same person as a legal guardian and trustee.
Selecting the right people who will be responsible for executing the terms of the will requires some serious thought. When you are preparing the will, ensure you provide their full names and addresses to your lawyer.
Review beneficiary designations
Personal insurance, financial accounts, retirement bonds, IRAs, and annuities are verified separately. The beneficiaries of these accounts receive funds through a document called a beneficiary designation. These designations take priority over instructions mentioned in your will. By reviewing beneficiaries periodically, you can be assured your assets will be distributed among the right people.
If a property or bank account is under joint ownership, that asset will not be distributed under the clauses in the will. It will instead be passed on to the surviving owner(s). In case the asset is solely in your name, it will be subject to conditions mentioned in the will. Tenancy, where multiple owners own a percentage of the asset, is also considered during the execution of a will. Here, the surviving owner(s) are not given your percentage of the asset. It will follow the course of action stated in the will.
Circumstances and laws change quite often and your will should be updated accordingly. Ensure you review the will every year with your attorney and make changes to reflect current situations.
Is your estate planning up to date?
If you are looking for legal services in Volusia County, New Smyrna Beach, Port Orange, Daytona, and surrounding areas, consult the offices of Debra G Simms.