A Will is basically a simple document stating what you want to happen to your property in the event of you passing away. After you pass away, the Will is used in public court in a process known as probate to make sure your wishes are handled fairly. For most people, a Will is an essential document - if you have an executor you trust and a well written Will, your belongings will go where you want them to go.
Wills are quite simple to set up, but you may want to consult an attorney to make sure you're following all of the procedures that apply in your state.
WHEN STARTING THE PROCESS OF PREPARING A WILL CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:
Take a comprehensive inventory of your financial assets: bank accounts, credit cards, investments, retirement funds. In today's world, it is also important to consider things that are nontraditional properties, such as digital assets. Digital assets do not just include online bank accounts but possibly domain names or social media accounts that generate money.
JOINT PROPERTY WITH SPOUSE
One type of ownership is joint property, often real estate and bank accounts shared by spouses. These would not be distributed by the terms of one person's Will; rather they are passed to the surviving owner by operation of the law.
GUARDIANS AND TRUSTEES
Ifyou have children, naming their legal guardians in the event of your death is a crucial part of the Will process. Many recommend that individuals not select the same person to be both the legal guardian and the trustee--the person in charge of the child's assets. This is because you may not want to have one person in charge of everything.
If your children are older and do not require a trustee, it may be wise to suggest they look for a financial planner. This is because, if you are not accustomed to dealing with investments and a large amount of money, you would not want to make a hasty investment without looking at all your options.
Beneficiary Designations override Wills. Seveal accounts, such as IRAs, life insurance, and annuities, do not pass through probate. Instead, the owners name beneficiaries who will receive the funds through a separate document called a beneficiary designation. These beneficiary designations supersede anything specified in a Will. Therefore, you should review your beneficiary designations with your family and/or estate lawyer when planning a Will.
If you are interested in having this document tailor-made for you, a loved one, and/or a friend, feel free to contact me for further discussion. Below is a link to a checklist and property worksheet that you may find helpful.
Phone: (770) 410-8988