Writing a will may not be as important as you may see it, particularly when it talks about preparing for your eventual death and making plans around it. It can make some people feel uncomfortably scared thinking that they’ll be passing on. However, the importance of writing your will cannot be disregarded, and this article should help you produce the document and approach the right people to help you make one.
Basic Information About a Will
A will is a legal document wherein you declare who will manage your estates after you have passed away. Your estate may consist of expensive properties such as prime lots and pieces of jewelry, as well as smaller items that may hold some sentimental value such as portraits or a piece of furniture. The person that is named in the will to manage your estate is called the executor.
A will may also contain instructions wherein you declare who you wish to become the guardian for any minor children or dependents, and who will receive specific items that you own. For instance, child A gets your mother’s engagement ring, child B gets the silverware you bought from London, and so on. Persons designated to receive any of your properties are called beneficiaries.
Writing a will may be done in several ways:
- You can draft your own.
- You can refer online to help you fill in the blanks.
- You can seek assistance from a lawyer. Choosing the right lawyer to help you should be based on several factors, namely experience, communication, reputation, and rates charged.
Some people these days may consider seeking help from professionals to help them draft their will. But apart from just creating a will, lawyers may offer more services to provide assistance to beneficiaries in order to ensure that every little detail is being taken care of. These services may include:
- Organizing the funeral
- Registration of death
- Dealing with complex tax issues
- Administration of trusts
Any testator should feel confident that his estate can be properly managed by professionals, hopefully with less hassle. The process should steer clear of a potential misunderstanding between beneficiaries.
Importance of Having a Will
Any drafted will should be signed and should have a witness present during the creation of the document to make it legal.
Unfortunately, should the testator get a divorce, the will can automatically become invalid. The will is based on the current relationships of the testator. The spouse automatically gets ½ of all the properties of the testator, unless it has specifically noted which ones the spouse will receive in case of a divorce.
Therefore, it is important to avoid having erasures when you are writing a will. It is recommended to update your will every 5 years or when there is a major change in your family.
In the event that you die without a drafted will, the assets will be divided among family members. Allocation of the assets may lead to distressful circumstances to the family.
What could make this situation a bit messy is when you are separated or divorced from your partner, or you have children from previous relationships. The allocation of properties may become more complicated, and battling over properties may cause strain in the relationship for years.
Distribution of your assets is a clear indication of effective financial planning, wherein you ensure that each of the family members can retain the quality of life that you have built together. Writing your will eliminates any possible confusion among family members that you will leave behind.