What is a Will?
A will is a legal document that outlines your desires for property distribution and the care of any minor children upon your passing. Those wishes may not be carried out if you die without a will. Furthermore, your heirs may end up spending more time, money, and emotional energy after you pass away to settle your affairs.
What are the Benefits of a Will?
Some individuals believe that wills are only for the wealthy or those with complicated holdings. However, there are numerous advantages to having a will. Some examples include:
- You can specify who receives your assets. You have control over who gets what and how much.
- You can protect your assets from people you don't want to have them (like an estranged relative).
- You may decide who will look after your children. The courts will decide if there is no will.
- Your heirs will be able to access your assets more quickly and easily.
- You can prepare to save money on taxes for your estate. You can also make gifts and charity contributions to reduce the estate tax.
When Do I Need a Will?
There are several scenarios where you should strongly consider having a will, these include:
- If you are married
- if you have children
- If your net worth is positive
What Happens If I Pass Away Without a Will?
If you die intestate (without a will) the state is in charge of distributing your assets, which it usually does according to a formula. Rules can vary drastically from state to state. Additionally, if your children are minors, there may be further complications because the court will designate a representative to represent their interests.
How Do I Create a Will?
To create your will, you should speak to an Estate Planning Attorney. One mistake can be very costly. You should not create an estate plan yourself.
Next, you want to make make a list of your assets and liabilities. Then make a list of heirs and beneficiaries you'd like to include in your will. Once you have your assets and beneficiaries listed, decide how your assets will be distributed.
Finally, discuss these details with your Estate Planning Lawyer to have your documents created and you can go through the process of executing your estate plan.
Is There Something Better Than a Will?
A Will is simply an estate planning tool. The right tool must be used for the job. The use of other, more advanced, tools may be a better option for you than a will. One of these options may be a revocable trust.
A trust, as opposed to a will, has several advantages. To begin with, a properly funded trust permits your estate to avoid probate, in contrast with wills, which must go through the process. The process through which a court transfers ownership of your assets to the people listed in your will is known as probate. The entire process is court-monitored. The sale of your home and distribution of your assets to the beneficiaries named in your will, for example, would be overseen by the probate court. Probate can be costly and time-consuming, and it will make it difficult for your heirs to receive cash quickly if you die. Pour-over wills are often used in conjunction with a trust.
Will Lawyer in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Contact one of our attorneys at our Wisconsin, Minnesota, or California locations by calling 414-253-8500 or sending us a message to make sure your assets are properly protected or for more information on a Trust, Will, Life Estate, Medicaid Planning, or Estate Planning.