Everyone should have a last will and testament to convey their final wishes about handling their expenses and the distribution of their assets. Without a will, a deceased person’s estate will have to go through a probate process of selecting an executor and filing required documents that can take months to finalize. Fortunately, making a will is not difficult. Following a few basic steps will cover most people’s needs. Take the suggestions below seriously and find the right helpers to make things go smoothly.
Plan Future Income and Expenses
None of us know our last day on earth, but we can estimate our income and expenses now as well as for the future to prepare a general will and estate plan. If you have young children, it is important to consider their needs until they grow up. In making a will now, work with the information you have for paying the current bills as well as providing an inheritance, if desired, for loved ones. A person’s will can be updated as often as you wish as new information comes into play. Having a will in place will make it easier for the person overseeing your estate to process the finances according to your wishes. A last will and testament form to work with should be available online or at a stationery store department at an affordable cost or even for free.
Estimate Future Adjustments
A personal will typically addresses specific criteria like funeral arrangements, designating an executor to oversee the estate, paying residual bills and expenses, and collecting funds due as well as insurance payouts before distributing remaining assets to family members, friends, and named organizations. A will attorney can advise you how to prepare a will and possibly develop an estate plan so that everything will be in place when the time comes. Before meeting with an attorney, get the broad strokes of what you want to be done with your assets.
Plan Your Bequests
In addition to ensuring your final expenses will be paid, give thought to leaving a gift of money or personal belongings to people and organizations you care about. Make a list of the gifts you would like to bestow with the understanding that remaining bills and expenses will first be paid from your assets. Expenses obviously take first priority, but knowing your money is going to causes you care about can help provide peace of mind.
Update as Needed
As mentioned above, you can change your will as your circumstances change due to a job loss or illness, for example. An attorney can explain the circumstances that could lead to the necessity or desirability of changing your will so you will know what to do. Talk over any concerns you have with them so that you can make a plan that will fit anything that could happen.
Making a final will may seem morbid, but it is actually a kindness that you can provide for loved ones as they deal with the practical aspects of your passing. Consider drafting a will or consulting an attorney who can help to provide peace of mind for all.