Everybody is destined to die, so it only makes sense to be prepared. Making a will can leave you feeling at peace and ease knowing that everything is taken care of, even in the event of an unexpected accident. Not only will your friends and family feel cared for and included, but you can also save them from the stress and hassle of sorting through your estate. There are plenty of resources available to help you write up a will, though writing up a will is easy to do, and does not have to be a long and extensive process. Read on for more information on why it is important and beneficial to have your own will for your friends and family.
Number One: Burial Preferences
When you pass, it will be tough enough already for your family to handle. Therefore, setting aside information on your burial preferences can make the transition that much easier for them. Not only will you rest assured that you are resting exactly the way you want, but your family can also be at peace knowing that they are fulfilling your last desire. This can be simple and to the point, and can even save your family money, if that matters to you. In addition, writing down your burial preferences and funeral arrangements can allow you to avoid discussing the difficult topic in person.
Number Two: Jointly Owned Property
Many couples who own a property together decide on a right of survivorship. This is great, unless you and your partner pass at the same time. In addition, if you are already the survivor, it is important that you out in your will who you would like to inherit the property. But, the right of survivorship does overrule anything that is written otherwise in your will. In other words, if you decide in your will to give your property to your daughter, the right of survivorship will happen regardless, and your spouse will inherit the property.
Number Three: Inheritances
If you die without a will, then your friends and family will have to sort through everything that you leave behind, which can be incredibly time consuming and stressful, not to mention depressing for your loved ones. Therefore, it is helpful to get clear on who will get what. It can also help reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax. In addition, if you have children who depend on you financially, this can help enormously in guaranteeing that your children are receiving what you believe to be rightly theirs. Finally, if you want to leave anything to a person outside of your family, writing it down in your will can prevent disputes between said individual and your family.
Number Four: Legal Guardians for Minor Children
Unexpected accidents can leave your children quickly orphaned. Your children are perhaps the most important things to you, therefore, you will want to make sure that they are well taken care of. Writing down in your will who you want to be their legal guardian will help enormously. Having prepared a legal guardian will help your children better adapt to your absence, and will also ensure that their new home is safe, and that the guardian is aware of any special circumstances that your children need in order to be happy and healthy.
Number Five: Testamentary Trusts
A testamentary trust allows you to hold property even after you die, for another person’s benefit. This can be especially helpful if you have children, or relatives with disabilities, and you want to give them part or all of your estate. The trust is created upon your death, and carried out appropriately.
Number Six: Choose an Executor
Choosing somebody to carry out all of your requests is just a sure way of knowing that everything will run smoothly after you pass. If you do not choose somebody, such as a friend or family member, then anybody can petition the court to be your executor, and the state will choose. You can decide on anybody to execute your will; the person does not have to be a relative, or even affiliated with you. Your executor will be responsible for taking care of any debts and taxes, conducting an inventory of your properties and assets, and informing any parties and financial institutions that you are now deceased. Your executor will also facilitate the distribution of our estate when it goes through the probate court. In addition, while all of your assets are distributed through probate court, regardless of whether or not you have a will, having one will make this process much easier.
Number Seven: Make Gifts and Donations
If you want to make any gifts and donations, then having a will is absolutely necessary. Otherwise, family members and friends may take it upon themselves to decide how your estate is distributed. If you have a special connection with an organization, or believe you may have passed because of an illness, then you can designate funds and property to specific institutions and organizations that you trust are doing good. Making gifts and donations also allows your legacy to live on, and it shows your personal interests and values even long after you have gone. Finally, any gifts that are $13,000 and below are waived from estate taxes, though this number changes from year to year. Regardless, gifts allow you the power to increase the value of your estate, which is a kind gesture to your beneficiaries and heirs.
Writing up a will is a rewarding task that CNG Lawyers are prepared to help you with. We know what it is like for families to handle your estate without a will, so we encourage you to take it upon yourself to organize your responsibilities. When the time comes, then you can rest assured that your last wishes will actually be carried out.