You’ve probably heard of the term “will” but do you know what this legal document does? When creating your estate plan, you will create a will. Everyone over the age of 18 needs his or her own will.
These are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the use of a will. After reading this guide, please feel free to contact my office with any further questions.
What is a will?
A will is a legal document that outlines how you would like your assets to be distributed after your death.
It also names an executor who is the trusted helper responsible for managing and distributing your assets after you die.
Lastly, your will names a legal guardian for your minor children in the event of your death.
Why do I need a will?
Without a will, your assets may not be distributed in the way that you wish. If you do not have a will, your state law decides how assets are distributed after your death.
In addition, the court will also be in charge of deciding who will care for your children. The court may not choose who you would choose to raise your minor children.
The court will also appoint an administrator to settle your estate. This person is in charge of winding down your financial life. The court may not choose the same person you would have chosen.
If you want to have say in the above matters, you MUST have a will.
Can I make changes to my will?
Yes! So long as you are alive and well, you can always make changes to your current will or make a new will.
It is recommended that you make a new will when significant life changes occur. These changes include marriage, divorce, arrival of a child, a new business, and significant changes in assets.
It is up to you to make sure that your will is up to date and includes your current wishes.
Can I create a will on my own?
You are legally able to create your own estate planning documents, but this is not recommended. You wouldn’t do your own surgery would you?
Estate planning attorneys spend years studying the law. Attorneys stay up to date on changes in the law and understand how the law relates to your specific estate plan.
Make sure to utilize the advice of a qualified estate planning attorney. By choosing to complete your own estate planning documents, you could make serious errors that may have a negative impact on your future and that of your family.
If you or a loved one has questions about creating a will or want to begin an estate plan, please feel free to telephone our estate planning law office. We’d be happy to assist you and answer all of your questions. Call us at 858-792-5988.