A Will ensures that your wishes are taken into account after your death!
A Will is a legal declaration of your wishes in regards to the final distribution of your personal property. It is often considered the “core” document of any estate plan. A Will can help protect your assets by ensuring that your property is distributed according to your wishes. A Will can also provide instructions for the care of your minor children, as well as name an Executor to carry out your wishes. Attorneys caution that dying intestate will result in a state court deciding who gets your assets and, if you have children, who will care for them.
Wills can perform several different functions…
One simple function of a Will includes the outright distribution of your assets to your designated beneficiaries. Additionally, a more complex function of a Will involves creating Testamentary Trusts within your Will in order to provide asset protection for your beneficiaries. In essence, a Will facilitates the distribution of your assets to your family members, friends and charities, according to your wishes, and it can be customized to meet all of your needs. Therefore, with a Will, you are in charge!
It is not recommended that you use a do-it-yourself Will or an internet Will!
Unlike the federal estate tax laws, which apply to all U.S. citizens, state laws are all over the place when it comes to probate, trusts and procedures required to write and sign valid estate planning documents. There are many specific state law issues that can affect an estate plan, including the definition of descendants, common law marriages, putative spouses and so on. Overall, generic forms cannot cover all of these state law issues.
While doing things yourself may save you money in the short term, the long term result may not be what you want or expect. It is best to hire an attorney that specializes in estate planning to help you with your Will, such as the attorneys here at Wiley Etter, LLC!