Preparing a Last Will and Testament is never the first thing on a person’s mind. In fact, it’s really not something anyone wants to think about. It reminds us that one day, we will leave this earth and those we love behind. However, it is for that exact reason that preparing a Will is essential.
The passing of a loved one is never easy. However, knowing what their last wishes were for their family and friends can help to ease some of the stress and the pain that their passing may cause. One of the first steps to any probate is to locate any and all Wills or Trust documents prepared by the decedent so that the family can carry out those last wishes.
Do you have minor children in your care? Wills are a good way to ensure that not only will they be cared for by a guardian of your choice, but also that they will be properly cared for with any assets that you have left behind. It is common to see language in Wills directing that these minor children be prevented from having full access to such assets until they reach an age at which you believe they will be responsible enough to handle them properly, and similarly ensuring that their guardians must keep that money protected for them until such time as they come of age.
Another reason to prepare a Will is to help minimize Estate taxes. Items that are given to family or charities can reduce the overall value of your Estate. This way, when the time comes to pay Estate taxes, the final value owed is minimal or even non-existent.
Many believe if they don’t have much property to their name, physical or otherwise, having a Will is unnecessary. However, this is far from true; a Will can also be used to dictate things other than assets. Like how your remains should be handled, what type of funeral you want, or who should handle your Estate. Even if you think these things aren't important, they can give grieving families less to worry or argue over.
Sometimes family members become estranged from us. Sometimes, friends or neighbors become closer to us than those who share the same blood. So if it is important to you that those who you cared for during life receive your property rather than a relative who removed themselves from your life, it is possible to disinherit such individuals within your Will, ensuring that your property is distributed in a way that you would deem fair.
It doesn’t matter what age you are. A Will is important for every adult to have because tomorrow is not promised to us. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. Being as prepared as possible for any of them is a good way to give you and your family peace of mind for the future.