Writing a will has been put off the wall for many years, since it’s not fun to ponder your mortality and hash out who should raise your kids in case an accident happens. Or what will become of your estate once you have gone to the other world. However, writing a will is just important as handling your properties and accounts. If you die without a will, a judge will decide what happens to your children as well as your earthly possessions.
Making a will serves three purposes. First, the main document specifies who gets your kids and your assets. Second, a living will provides direction about your care if you’re unable to make medical decisions yourself, and lastly, a trust, a legal entity, holds your assets upon your death and disperses them to your children or beneficiary. Since minors can’t receive the money, the trust keeps it until they come of age-and then doles it out following a schedule you choose, so they don’t simply get a lump sum on turning 18. A trust can also ensure that your children will inherit your assets should your surviving spouse remarry or have additional children.
All of this gets complicated, which is recommended to hire or use a will and estates attorney that would give you better advice and is trained to look beyond the will itself. An attorney helps you fix discrepancies on your retirement accounts and insurance payouts. An attorney that specializes in this field charges by the hour, and roughly it will cost you $500 – $1,200 for two wills (one for each of you). It’s better to be prepared to reduce the cost.
Once you have completed the paper works that your attorney sends you, it’s time to decide who will take the three important duties in the event of your deaths.
For all three of these jobs, you’ll need both a primary and secondary choice in case the first is unable to carry out the task. Be sure to talk to the people you select to make sure they are comfortable with the responsibility.
Bryan Lee is a financial advisor and a frequent guest contributor on online financial blogs. You can click here for more info.
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