There are a number of reasons to make a will:
A will allows you to decide who will inherit your property, and who will carry out your intentions. Arrangements can be made to appoint a guardian or trustee for your minor children. If an individual dies in an accident, the Executor of their will is in charge of any Lawsuits.
What Happens If I Don’t Have A Will?
If someone dies without a will, state law determines who inherits their property. This may or may not correspond with your intentions. For example, in many situations a surviving spouse may have to share assets with other family members. Dying without a will could also result in your minor children being place in the care of a guardian chosen by the Court, rather than the person you would have chosen.
How Often Should My Will Be Updated?
A properly executed will remains valid indefinitely. It is a good idea, however, to review your will from time to time. This is particularly important whenever your personal or family circumstances change. Major life events such as a marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child are good occasions to make, or revise a will.
Changes in a will should never be made by hand – this might cause confusion about what was intended. If the changes are minor, an amendment can be made by a document called a Codicil. If extensive changes are required, a new will might be prepared.
What About Life Insurance and Retirement Savings?
Life Insurance Policies, and many retirement plans, have their own provisions for naming a beneficiary. Changing your will does not automatically change the beneficiary of these assets. When making a will it is a good idea to review the choices you have made, and make sure that they reflect your intentions.
What Should I Do With My Will?
The original will should be kept in a safe place. It is not filed with the Court until after someone’s death.
Make certain that your family, particularly the person or persons who will serve as your Executor, know where you have kept your will.
What Does An Executor Do?
An Executor will present the will to the Register of Wills for probate. He or she will then carry out the intentions of the will, gathering up assets, paying debts and funeral expenses, and distributing the remainder to the heirs. Any necessary tax returns will also be filed. The Executor will usually retain an Attorney to assist with this process.
How Do I Make A Will?
A simple will is not expensive. If you would like to discuss making a will, please call the office for an appointment. At this time, I will discuss your situation with you. I will need to know to whom you wish to leave your property, and who you would want to have as your executor or executors.
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