A will is defined as a legal document that permits you to decide who will receive your assets and belongings upon your death. A will is also useful to appoint a guardian who will care for any children until they are old enough to legally look after themselves.
Wills are also important in pre-empting the possible expenses and arguments that happen when person dies without making one. The making of a will is necessary because it is the only way that you can notify others of how you wish your assets and belongings to be distributed and to whom. A will is the only way you can ensure that your children and other dependents will be provided for after your death.
When one dies without making a will his/her properties are distributed according to established rules which apply to everyone, without any exceptions. A will allows you to choose the person who’ll be responsible for your properties’ distribution (i.e. an executor). In the absence of a will one’s assets are distributed by a court-appointed person referred to as an administrator.
1Types of Wills
• Testamentary/Self-Proving Will This is the traditional type of will that is familiar to most people. The document is formally prepared and signed in the presence of witnesses
• Holographic Wills – These are prepared in the absence of witnesses and are rarely recognized by a court of law
• Living Will – This doesn’t deal with assets’ distribution in any way but rather states your medical care wishes with regards to life support is you become incapacitated
Wills that are most likely to hold up are those that are prepared in writing and signed by you and your witnesses.
2Why Is a Will ImportantThe preparation of a will ensures that you get to determine how your assets and belongings will be distributed. It lets you indicate who will receive your possessions as well as how the transition of any investment or business assets will be done. A will allows you to direct the manner in which your children will be cared for and what assets each one of them will receive. This way any possible tensions amongst your survivors will be avoided. A will will also direct the manner in which certain assets will be distributed to organizations, institutions or charities of your choice.
3What Isn’t Included in a Will?
There are a number of items that are not part of a will. These include:
• Community property
• Life insurance policy payout proceeds
• Retirement assets
• Assets owned as joint tenants with rights of survivorship
• Investment accounts that have been specified as “transfer on death”
4The Consequences of Not Having a Will
Not having a will upon death means that the state will be responsible for distributing your assets according to a designated form...