Last Wishes: What to Know Before Creating Your Will

Thursday, May 5, 2016, 6:00 PM | Leave Comment

A will can greatly reduce conflict and stress among loved ones after a death, and if you are in the process of laying out your final plans and wishes there are a few things you should know. 

Use these tips to help get organized and to improve your legal situation.

Last Wishes What to Know Before Creating Your Will

  • Do Not Create it Yourself

    Although programmed tools for creating wills are offered on numerous websites, the financial circumstances of most people are not so simple that a lawyer is unnecessary. These websites do not account for state-specific laws. For instance, some might not enable you with the familiarity of the workings of estate taxes.

    Many times, wills that are self-prepared are not signed or properly finalized. Depending on your state, if the executor or members of the family acting as executors are beneficiaries of the will and sign as witnesses, the witnesses as well as the will are made invalid, or the witness may be denied receipt of any benefit included in the will.

    Do not risk your entire life’s worth. Seek advice from an estate lawyer to prevent mistakes, obtain tax reductions, and possibly save your family money in the future.

  • Pinpoint Your Assets

    Assess a complete inventory of your bank account, credit cards, and your investments and retirement funds before you meet with a lawyer. It is essential to consider digital accounts such as online banking and domain or social media accounts that produce income. You might also have biological assets such as children conceived through infertility therapies, as well as unused frozen embryos.

    After compiling this information, do not store it all in a safe deposit box that no one else has the means to enter. It will be a great annoyance for your family to have to go to court to legally have the box drilled open.

  • Spousal Joint Property is Outside the Domain of a Will

    Real estate and bank account properties shared jointly would not be distributed by the conditions of just you or just your spouse’s will. Joint properties would be distributed to the surviving owner according to the functioning of the law. If the property account is only in one person’s name, it is distributed through the will.

    If you owned a property with your siblings (tenancy in common) your percentage of ownership would not go to your surviving siblings automatically, but would be distributed according to your will.

  • Include Funeral Arrangements

    Including plans for your funeral and interment in your will can be very helpful for your grieving family members. You can include a great money-saving guide to a supplier of funeral caskets to places like Elmwood Casket Company. Make sure all your specific wishes are laid out so they can be taken care of when you are gone.

Making a will and creating your last wishes can be difficult. Don’t make it even more so by going with a more convoluted route. These steps can help smooth the process and make the whole ordeal easier to handle.

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