Many people put of their estate planning needs, and don’t even take the time to create a will. Depending on the size of your estate, a will can an important estate planning document that can allow you to achieve a number of things. If you choose to put off some of full estate planning, you should at least take the time to create this important estate planning document. Take a look at the information below, to learn more. If you have any questions, or if you’re ready to begin your estate planning, meet with an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney.
A will can be an effective planning tool for persons with modest estates. What is a modest estate? Generally, an estate that is below $150,000 in value (and likely to stay below that level) and one that does not include any real estate.
Why is this so? Because many estates with values above $150,000 or that include real estate will be required to go through some court proceedings which may include a full scale probate in order to get it settled. The costs of such procedures make a revocable living trust a better option for most persons who have attained this level of assets. With a properly created and maintained living trust, probate and other court proceedings can be avoided.
However, if you elect to proceed with a will, you will use it to decide how your assets will be distributed. If you have wishes about how your assets will be divided, it’s important to create a will. Without a will, your assets will be given to beneficiaries based on your state’s laws. This may mean that the beneficiaries that you had in mind, may not receive your assets. Your instructions will be used to distribute your assets after your death, if you create a will.
Do you have children? A will also allows you to nominate a guardian for the care of your minor children. This is an extremely important decision, as you want to make sure that your children are always cared for. If you have children, a will is a must. Without a will, your children may have to live with a guardian who you may not have chosen.
You will also need to appoint an executor. An executor is responsible for handling a number of responsibilities so that an estate is properly handled after death. This includes locating and managing all of your assets, attending court proceedings, distributing your assets, and handling all financial and tax obligations associated with your estate. Your executor will be handling many private matters, so it’s important to create a will so that you choose your guardian, not the court.
If you have not created an estate plan, now is the time to do so. You likely want to make sure that you’re in full control of how your affairs are handled in the future. If you have any questions, or if you’re ready to start your planning, consult with a qualified and experienced estate planning attorney.