Having an estate plan in place and discussing your estate plan with your loved ones in advance, can help eliminate some of the emotional turmoil that accompanies death. The South Coast Register from down under offers some worthwhile suggestions in “Dying to Know Day: Wills and won’ts of estate planning.”
A will is a legal document that lets you choose the relatives, friends, and charities who you want to inherit your assets when you die.
If you die without a will, your assets will be distributed to relatives by the state laws of intestacy, which may not be according to your wishes.
If you don’t have any relatives, or they can’t be found, your estate will be paid to the state.
You can make your own will, or you can hire an experienced estate planning attorney to assure that every detail is addressed.
If you decided to draft your own will, proceed at your own risk. Make sure that you consider the likely value of your estate, all of your potential beneficiaries, any special gifts or bequests, the disposal of any remaining assets, and the appointment of an executor. Consider having an estate planning attorney from your state review it, because unless you are familiar with the laws of your state, the entire will could be invalid if there are too many mistakes.
You want to be sure your will is written correctly because challenges can be expensive and time consuming. It will also cause unwanted pain and stress to your family and friends.
You’ll need to select an executor, who is an individual that will be responsible for carrying out the provisions of your will. Speak with the person who you want to be your executor and make sure that they are willing to take on this role. Make sure they have contact information for your estate planning attorney so that they can work together, when the time comes.
Reference: South Coast Register (August 9, 2017) “Dying to Know Day: Wills and won’ts of estate planning.”