At Heritage Law Office, we understand the importance of having a will in place to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your death. A will is a legal document that outlines how you want your assets to be distributed and who will take care of your minor children, in case you pass away while they are still dependents.
Why you need a will, even if you don't think you have many assets
Many people believe that they don't need a will because they don't have many assets or they think their assets will automatically go to their spouse or children, but that's not always the case. Without a will, the state will determine how your assets will be distributed through the laws of intestate succession, and it may not align with your wishes or values. Additionally, if you have minor children, the state will decide on a guardian for them, without taking into account your preferences.
A will is not only for those with significant assets, but for anyone that wants to ensure that their assets and their loved ones are taken care of in the way they wish after they are gone.
Key elements of a will: names of executor, guardianship provisions, and specific bequests
A will should include several important elements such as:
- The names of the executor and alternate executor, who will be responsible for managing and distributing your assets.
- Guardianship provisions for your minor children, in case both parents pass away
- A list of specific bequests, which are gifts of specific items or assets to named individuals or organizations.
- Residuary provisions, which outline how the remaining assets in your estate should be distributed.
- Specific instructions for the distribution of your assets in the event that certain beneficiaries predecease you or are unable to inherit.
- A statement revoking any previous wills or codicils.
You should speak with an estate planning attorney licensed in your state to ensure your will is valid and executed properly..
Importance of regularly reviewing and updating your will
It's also important to keep in mind that a will is not a one-time document, it should be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect changes in your life, such as marriage, divorce, birth of children or grandchildren, the acquisition of new assets or the loss of existing ones. Also, the laws of your state may change, so you should have your will reviewed by a lawyer to ensure it still complies with state laws.
Contact an Estate Planning Attorney at Heritage Law Office
At Heritage Law Office, we understand the importance of having a will in place and the peace of mind it can bring to you and your loved ones. We have years of experience drafting, reviewing, and updating wills to ensure they are in compliance with state laws and accurately reflect our clients' wishes. Contact us today by sending us a message or by calling 414-253-8500 to schedule a consultation and take the first step in creating a comprehensive estate plan.