Life planning involves both short- and long-term goals for our present and future. When planning our goals, we tend to dedicate more effort to exciting aspirations and prolong any planning associated with the opposite. It is equally important to be prepared and plan for both the joyous and somber life events.
When it comes to life planning, one of the most procrastinated things we do is postpone creating a Will. A Will is a legal document that outlines who will manage your estate and the distribution of assets after your death. It is extremely important to create and maintain a Will while you are alive to in order communicate these wishes.
It is important to appoint an executor to your Will. This person will oversee managing your estate and debts after death. An executor is an overwhelming task, and it is recommended that you meet with your executor and overview the expectations of the role to ensure they are comfortable executing your Will. It is also recommended that you review your Will with your executor once it is complete.
Important things to consider when drafting a Will:
- It is important to elect a Power of Attorney to make decisions regarding your property and a Power of Attorney to make health care decisions for you should you become unable, physically, or mentally, to make those decisions on your own.
- It is important to name any guardians in your Will for your children that you would like the court to consider while they are minors. It is also important to outline any trust funds that you would like to set up for your children and their guardians.
- It is important to keep the information in your Will up to date- this includes ensuring you have listed all your most up to date assets, your executors and beneficiaries are still living, and you have the correct marital status noted.
If you do not have a Will at the time of death, the law decides who will oversee executing the estate and who will be the beneficiaries of it. Unfortunately, time and time again, this leads to family disputes as your wishes were not outlined clearly to your surviving family members and friends.
When creating a Will, it is recommended to have a lawyer draft or notarize your Will. This step will ensure the document is accurate and all your wishes have been outlined precisely and accordingly. It will also ensure that your will have been properly witnessed.
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