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Estate Planning 101: 6 Frequently Asked Questions

Most of us don’t really like to think of death or creating a will. However, there are many times throughout your life when you must think about your family’s future and effectively safeguard them financially upon your death. Estate planning shouldn’t and doesn’t begin when someone dies.

To help get you started on estate planning, start by reading these FAQs about wills.

What Can a Will Do for Me?

In a nutshell, a will places you in complete control of what you wish to do with your financial and personal affairs after your death. It’s a legal document that ensures all your intentions will be carried out when you pass away. You need to create your will right now to make certain that your assets would be distributed:

  • In the exact way you want;
  • To the specific individuals you want;
  • To support the needs of your beneficiaries; and
  • As simply and as quickly as possible.

Can I Write My Own Will?

Yes, but DIY wills, particularly when significant assets are involved, are filled with issues. Therefore, it’s vital to seek expert advice from a lawyer with ample experience in estate planning, including financial planning, taxation, law, and investments. This will help ensure that your will is clear and detailed, with no risk of being contested. Talk to estate lawyers to find out more about drafting a valid will.

What If I Die Without Creating a Will?

Put simply, it will be up to the government to decide what should be done with the assets you left behind. The government will distribute your estate under the intestacy laws of your state. The problem is, these are very general rules that won’t specifically reflect what you would’ve wanted to do with your assets.

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What Happens to My Will When I Die?

The person you designate as your executor will be the one to oversee your estate’s affairs. Your executor will collect your assets, including insurance policies, shares, bank accounts, etc., pay existing debts, and then distribute what’s left of your estate to your chosen beneficiaries based on the directions in your will.

Can I Leave Out a Dependent in My Will?

If, for whatever reason, you don’t want to leave something for a dependant, you’re entitled to indicate this when making your will. Note, though, that your spouse or kids might dispute such terms if you fail to provide sufficient provisions for them.

Can I Modify My Will?

Yes. You have the right to change anything or revoke your will at any time because your will would only take effect upon your death. Amendments to your will, however, need to be clear and correct. Otherwise, you may face costly legal fees and delays in correcting these mistakes.

Now that you are aware of how important having a will is to your overall estate planning efforts, don’t delay. It’s better to make one now to be on the safe side. Seek professional help from an experienced lawyer to help you out.

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