What is a Will and Why Do I need One Now?
A will, also known as a Last Will and Testament, is a legal document that spells out your wishes regarding care of your children, as well as the disposition of your property at death. It also:
- Names Your Executor
- Names Guardians for Your Minor Children
- Determines How Your Debts and Taxes Will be Paid
- Decides what happens to your pets
Failure to prepare a will typically leaves decisions about your estate to judges or state officials, and often causes family strife.
Wills are somewhat limited, however, as a Will does not control the disposition of:
- Jointly owned property that passes by survivorship
- Property that passes by beneficiary designation, such as life insurance or retirement accounts
- Property held in a separate trust
- Property that is payable on death to someone else.
Securing the transfer of property to reflect you and your family’s wishes while still of sound mind will help prevent confusion and reduce the emotional & financial stress of your loved ones after you’ve passed. Properly executing this document with the aid of an experienced attorney will ensure clarity regarding your wishes and ease the administration of your estate.