After you die, you want to ensure your loved ones are taken care of and your final wishes are carried out. That’s why it’s so important to have a valid will in place. However, many people put off establishing a will because they’re afraid to face their own mortality or don’t think they need one at the moment. Dying without a will can come with many consequences for your loved one, so it’s vital that you establish one as soon as possible.
Here are some things to consider when drafting a will.
Think Twice About Writing a Will Yourself
Many websites offer programmed tools for do-it-yourself wills. It can be tempting to draft a will yourself because you’d save some money. However, creating a will without the assistance of a lawyer could lead to problems down the road. For one thing, these websites aren’t state specific. The laws for estate planning differ from state to state, and these do-it-yourself programs don’t recognize that.
Do-it-yourself wills aren’t often signed and finalized properly. This could invalidate the will in court. To avoid any issues, have an experienced estate planning lawyer draft your will.
Joint Property with a Spouse Falls Outside the Will
Joint property refers to real estate and bank accounts shared by spouses. These assets wouldn’t be distributed by the terms of a person’s will. They would instead be passed on to the surviving owner. However, if an asset is just under one person’s name, it’s passed through a will.
Choose a Guardian Carefully
If you have minor children, you’ll want to designate a guardian for them in your will. This way, you will have peace of mind knowing they will be taken care of if you die suddenly. You should be very selective in selecting a guardian. After all, this person would be looking after your children. While you might want to choose your parents to be guardians of your kids, consider their age and health first. If they’re older people, they might not be able to handle the physical responsibility of caring for kids. It’s best to select a guardian who is fairly young, in good health, financially sound, nurturing, and responsible.
Contacting an Estate Planning Lawyer
If you’re ready to create a will, you should speak to an experienced estate planning lawyer, like an estate planning lawyer. He or she will know all the estate planning laws in your state and help you create a valid will that states your wishes.