Many people delay the process of making a will. They find it easy to procrastinate because they think estate planning is hard. But it doesn’t have to be. Creating a will can be as easy as ABC.
Assets: Begin by making an inventory of all your assets: insurance policies, bank and brokerage accounts, artwork and other collections, real estate holdings, vehicles, and everything else you own.
Beneficiaries: Think about who you want to receive your assets. Consider family needs and obligations. Then review your charitable commitments and consider how a bequest could benefit them and create a lasting legacy for you.
Confidants: Choose trustworthy persons to provide legal and other professional assistance, as well as a personal representative to help settle your estate. You may also need to select one or more trustees or potential guardians for minor children.
Once you have done these things it is time to act. Don’t delay. Contact an estate-planning attorney soon and move forward. If you need help finding a good attorney, we can assist you in this process. Making a will can take some time. But the result is worth it. You will be well rewarded with a sense of satisfaction and great peace of mind.
DON’T DO THIS WITH YOUR WILL
Your will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign. There are certain things to avoid in order to do it right. Here are four of the more critical “don’ts” to consider:
DON’T PUT IT OFF UNTIL LATER.
The worst thing you can do in creating a will is to procrastinate, to keep waiting for a more convenient time. But the years have a way of slipping by. A will delayed is a will not done. Now is the time—while you are able—to do your will. For your sake, and the sake of your loved ones, do your will now.
DON’T DO IT BY YOURSELF.
Saving a few bucks by writing your own will or using a mass-produced generic form will not provide the level of inner peace and confidence you and your family deserve. Nothing can replace the benefits of a face-to-face meeting with a good estate-planning attorney who asks the right questions and who knows how to draft a will that meets the specific requirements of your state of residence. Seek out a qualified attorney and have your estate plans done right.
DON’T RELY ON A WILL ALONE.
Your will needs to be considered along with other transfer documents, such as life insurance policies, joint-ownership accounts, and retirement accounts. A good attorney can help you coordinate your planning and provide added assurance that everything you need is prepared legally and according to your wishes.
DON’T PUT IT AWAY AND FORGET ABOUT IT.
Things change. Children grow up. New laws are passed affecting estate planning. New developments occur regarding financial resources. An outdated will could create problems. It’s a good idea to get out your will every year or so and review it. Make sure it does what you want. Keep your will current.
The materials provided on this Web site are for informational purposes only and are not intended as legal or tax advice. We strongly encourage you to consult your own tax or estate planning advisor, preferably an attorney or certified public accountant, before making any substantial gift.