A Will (or, more formally, a “Last Will and Testament”) accomplishes many things. First and most obvious, it provides for the distribution of your assets upon your death. All of the property you worked hard to accumulate during your life has to go somewhere; you want to decide who the beneficiaries are, not the government. These gifts will surely be more appreciated by the recipients if they know you took the time to mention them by name. A Will is the document that lets you make these intentions clear.
Second, your Will appoints an executor to oversee the distribution process. This is a demanding role, requiring reliability, organization and attention to detail. You’ll want someone you can trust to be fair in distributing your property, as well as efficient in moving the process forward. Not everyone is up to the task. Making a good decision for Executor and naming that person in your Will goes a long way in the efficient settling of your estate.
Third, your Will provides a backup for a Trust. Even if your situation requires more complex estate planning, a Will is almost always part of the plan. It funnels assets into the trust and provides a safety net for any assets that might have been overlooked when the trust was funded.
Fourth, you can provide for charitable gifts through your Will. This is an excellent opportunity to give back and help an organization working to improve the community. Most charitable organizations are extremely grateful for any assistance provided. Help support a cause you believe in through a gift in your Will.
Finally, and most importantly for parents, your Will appoints a guardian for any minor children. Your intended guardians might know you want them for the role, but does the rest of your family know? And your spouse’s family? Losing parents can be the most stressful time of a child’s life. Watching family members fight over their care is no way to transition after a traumatic event. Ease their grief and prevent family tension by making it clear whom you want to provide for your children’s care if you’re gone.
Your Will accomplishes many important tasks and should be discussed and planned with a professional. Contact Asurest to start the process.
Read the most recent posts on Wills from the Asurest blog.
Some individuals with “non-traditional” family structures may face unique estate planning challenges that would not be well-served by online “DIY” tools.
To answer these, let’s first take a look at some of the terms and what these documents say. “Resuscitation” is an attempt to restart your heart and breathing if either stops. One example you’ve probably heard of is CPR, or cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. A “Do Not Resuscitate” order, therefore, is an instruction to medical personnel not to engage in these efforts on your behalf. If you are found unresponsive, the DNR is an order NOT to revive you.
When planning an estate, this is an important consideration. Are your children mature enough at 18 to receive their entire inheritance? How about 30? Would you rather they inherit some now while the rest is held in trust? Every family situation is unique, so every estate plan should be customized to fit these unique considerations. Talk through some of these things with your estate planner to make sure your will is the best fit for you and your loved ones.
You’ve done the hard work of planning so make sure those documents are accessible when needed. Even a perfectly drafted Will is of little value if no one knows where it is. Informing family members of the location of your estate plan and keeping them up to date will keep you and your family protected. Contact Asurest today to get started.
You’ve taken the important first step of scheduling a meeting with your estate planner, now what? To make that meeting as productive as possible, here’s a brief rundown of what will be discussed and some considerations to make in advance: Medical Decisions First,...