Many individuals believe they know, more or less, what writing a will entails; the truth is that there are a lot of complexities and grey areas, and some of the specifics can vary from one state to the next.
Before you begin the process of drafting your own last will—something we recommend you do with your attorney—here are a few things you should know.
What is a will, exactly? It’s simply a legal document in which you declare who’s to handle your estate after you die. A will can also express who will serve as guardians for any minor-age children you have.
What if you die and you have no will in place? In these situations, you become intestate—which means the courts will determine how your estate is allocated, a process that can be lengthy and won’t necessarily honor your wishes.
Should married couples just have one joint will, or separate ones? Separate wills are almost always better—and in fact, many states no longer recognize joint wills.
Who should be named the executor? The executor is the person you appoint to manage your estate when you die. It can be any adult—a spouse, a grown child, or a close friend. The executor can even be your lawyer. It just needs to be someone who you trust, and believe to be level-headed.
Is a will all I need for estate planning? Not at all; to ensure your family is cared for without having to go through probate court, having a trust in place is also helpful. You might also write out a letter of instruction, which provides your executor with some key guidelines.
As you seek to wrap your head around the estate planning process—including will writing—we invite you to reach out to Singh Law Firm for assistance.