developing a will
You’ll benefit from creating a list of your assets including real estate, bank accounts, investments, retirement plans or pensions, vehicles, artwork, insurance plans, jewelry, family heirlooms and more. Assets can be anything you want to leave to a person or organization.
After you’ve created your Will, there are a few things you can do to ensure that it is enforced after your death. For example, you should:
We recommend you put together a legacy drawer to store your will and other important documents. This can be a waterproof and fireproof file box or folder that holds the documents your family would need if something happened to you.
You could leave an equal percentage or set dollar amount to each of your children. You could decide to leave a chunk to charity, and there could be special items you want to leave to certain people—like that vintage train set your kid always wanted to push around the living room growing up. Whatever these decisions are, now is the time to record them.
Here are the basics:
Again, it’s wise to choose an alternate guardian in case you outlive your first choice and don’t update your will.
A Pour-Over Will funnels any assets in your name into an already-created trust when you die. This is like having a holding room for any assets you may have forgotten about or intentionally left out of a trust that you would like to move into a trust after death. Hence the assets are “poured” into a trust.
Quick and Basic: There are a bunch of online legal services that can help you create a basic and official Will that covers all the bases (beneficiaries, guardians, and an executor), but it’s always best to do it with an attorney if possible. [Dig Deeper: Online Legal Services]
Writing your own will is probably not a high-priority item on your to-do list. After all, no one wants to think about their demise. That said, creating a will is one of the most important duties that you can do for your family. While writing a will sounds like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be. There are online tools that you can use to write a basic will.
It’s important to name a guardian to care for your minor or dependent children in the event you are the last surviving parent or the surviving parent is unfit to care for them. Otherwise, the court will appoint someone. You want to choose someone who is not only prepared to take on the responsibilities of raising your children until they turn 18 but who is also close to you and your children. Make sure to discuss this decision with both your children and the potential guardian, and consider naming an alternate guardian should something happen to your first choice.