A will carries your legacy long after you are gone, and that’s why you ought to get it right. When you die without a will, it can create confusion among your heirs, and the uncertainty surrounding your estate could destabilize your family’s finances.
Writing a will is not a complicated process, as many may suppose. Below are three commonly asked questions and their answers, which may help you get started.
Where should I begin when writing a will?
It would be best to start by listing all your assets, loans, and other debts that may be tied to you or your estate. Doing so will give you a raft idea of the value of your estate, which will be helpful when dividing property among your beneficiaries. It will also enable you to dictate fixed amounts rather than percentages, which can be confusing when executing your will.
Who ensures my wishes are carried out?
While you are still living, you can confer power of attorney to someone else if you become incapacitated and unable to make some decisions about your estate. After you are gone, someone called an executor or administrator will administer your estate and make sure that the terms of your will are properly followed. In the case of a trust, a trustee will manage your assets on behalf of the trust’s beneficiaries.
How can I protect my wealth?
A will serves to pass on property to your beneficiaries — but estate planning is also about asset protection. Through the use of trusts and other financial vehicles, you can take steps to protect your assets from creditors, engage in advance planning for long-term health care issues and reduce taxation on your estate.
Ensuring that everything is in place regarding your estate plans requires a few steps in the right direction. The more you learn about estate planning, the better.