Friday, May 30, 2014

5 Tips to Creating a Will that Will Benefit the Whole Family

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No matter how much your assets are worth, writing a will is an important part of ensuring your family’s future. Here are five tips to make your will benefit your family as much as possible.

1. Take Inventory

Because your will “is the document which will record who is awarded your belongings and how to allocate your finances after death,” it is essential that you take an accurate inventory of your belongings (Donnell Law Group). Whether you have several cars and a summer house to take into account, or only a few family heirlooms to consider, it is important that you take an inventory of your assets.

This step can be done under the guidance of an estate planning lawyer or before you meet with one. Make a written list of all your assets. These can include physical things like a house or vehicle, and intangible things like investments. Make sure you do your research, though, as some things, such as retirement accounts, may not pass via your will. A licensed estate planning attorney will be able to answer any questions you may have.

2. Consider a Trust

Think trusts are only for the wealthy? Think again. According to Suze Orman, “A revocable living trust allows your heirs to avoid probate entirely and keeps you in complete control of your finances while you're alive.”

One of the best things about a revocable living trust is you will be able to make changes regarding the management of your assets as needed. After your death, your elected trustee will follow your directions for care and distribution of the trust.

3. Be Specific

As with your inventory, the best way to make your will effective is to avoid generalizations. Don’t hesitate to give brief descriptions of items or add stipulations to the distribution of your assets.

Being specific is most important when you are establishing the care of your children in the event of your death. This is where you outline exactly who should have custody and care of your children.

4. Look into Life Insurance

If you do not already have a life insurance policy, there is no time like the present to investigate your options. Life insurance is one of the easiest ways to provide for your dependents. Life insurance also can be used for settlement of your “debts, funeral expenses, and income or estate taxes” (Nolo).

5. Take this Chance to Discuss Life Planning with Your Children

Whether you have small children or your kids are all grown, the best time to talk to them about the contents of your will is when you’re writing it.

For young children, this can be a chance to introduce and explain concepts like death and funerals. This may seem intimidating, but it is better that your children have a construct of death before they are asked to deal with a death in their family.

For teenaged and adult children, this is a great time to feel out how you would like to divide your estate. Have personal, one-on-one conversations with your children about what property they would like to have pass to them. Having a specific, written will can prevent disputes later on.

Don’t wait to handle your estate planning. Writing a will is fairly simple, but it offers invaluable protection. Having a written will and other legal measures, like a revocable living trust, will provide financial and legal security for your family.

1 comment:

  1. It is very important to create a will in a right way. If you want a good future for your family you should be very attentive during creation of the will because it can lead to unexpected consequences. I know stories when people turned to money lenders because the will was created wrong. It’s a pity when your family have financial problems because your will was created wrong. You should follow all these tips to make a good future for your family.


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