Estate Planning: How to Build a Successful Will
Over sixty percent of Americans lack an estate plan. Many people may assume they’re too young or too healthy to need a will, but the truth is that the unexpected could happen at any moment — it always pays to be prepared.
Writing a successful will can feel like a daunting task. You may be unsure where to start, what to include, and what steps you need to take to make sure the will is legally binding.
If you’re looking for the answers to these questions, keep reading. This article will cover the basic steps of estate planning, teaching you to write a will that will help you protect your family after you’re gone.
Take Stock of Your Possessions
One of the main purposes of a will is to determine who your possessions will pass to when you’re gone. To figure that out, you first need a list of all of your valuable items.
Make a list of everything with sentimental or monetary value, large and small. As you go, make note of who you might want to leave each item to. It’s likely to be a long list; take your time and be thorough.
Organize Your Debt
Unfortunately, possessions aren’t the only thing you need to consider when planning a will. You’ll also need to look at any outstanding debts you owe — loans, credit card debt, and so on.
You should have a rough idea of the value of your assets after making an inventory. Subtract your debt from that value to determine your net worth. Your estate’s net worth is important to know for estate tax reasons.
Hire Legal Aid
The previous steps are easy enough to handle on your own, but putting all of that information together to create a successful will requires experience with estate law. That means hiring legal assistance.
Professional estate planners like the ones at Welch Law Firm will ensure that you’ve covered all your bases and obeyed all relevant laws.
Communicate With Family
Some members of your family may be confused about parts of your will. Once the document is complete, you should discuss it with the people it will affect. That will give you the opportunity to answer any questions.
If you have a lot of investments, make sure that the people they pass to understand how to manage them.
Update When Necessary
Creating a will is one thing, maintaining it is another. Your assets and debts are constantly in flux. If you buy new items of value, you need to add them to your list of assets. If you pay off a debt, revise your net worth.
Try to update your will every year or so to make sure it’s as accurate as possible.
Build a Successful Estate Plan
Writing a successful estate plan doesn’t have to be difficult. Once you have help understanding estate law, you can create a thorough document that will help guide and support your family during a difficult time.
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