What You Need to Know Before You Write Your Will!

You probably already know you’ll eventually need a will, a legal document that provides for the distribution of your assets after your death. But you may not realize it should be reviewed periodically as your life changes because you might want the assets to be distributed differently. Creating a will is not just about deciding who gets what; it’s also about ensuring your wishes are legally documented and upheld. It’s essential to consider all aspects of your estate, including property, investments, and personal items, and decide how they should be handled.

Remember, a will is more than just a financial document; it can include guardianship decisions for minor children and express your wishes for end-of-life care. Choosing an executor you trust to carry out your wishes and handle your estate responsibly is crucial. Seeking legal advice is advisable to navigate complex estate laws and ensure your will is valid and enforceable. Creating a thoughtful will is a vital part of your legacy, and taking the time to do so is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your loved ones.

Your Will: Adapting to Life’s Changes and Its Impact

What You Need to Know Before You Write Your Will!

Common major life changes where you might want to consider updating your will include:

  • Getting married
  • Having children or grandchildren
  • Getting a divorce
  • Moving to another state
  • Death of a spouse or other beneficiary
  • Inheriting money
  • Wanting to account for charitable contributions
  • Health complications
  • Changes in the law

For example, if you get a divorce but don’t take your ex-spouse off a beneficiary designation, your ex-spouse could potentially still be entitled to that asset.

If you are a parent, you might also want to change your will to make a provision for the care of any minors should you and your spouse pass away before they come of age. Make sure to name a guardian for them and provide for them financially, if possible, should anything happen to you. You might also need to revise your will if you move to another state to comply with that state’s will and probate laws.

Do I Need Any Other Documents?

Along with a will, it is a good idea to establish a living will and a durable power of attorney. Both outline your wishes for your care should you become permanently incapacitated. A durable power of attorney can be an essential tool because if you become incapacitated without it, family and friends cannot make important decisions on your behalf. Ensuring these are legally binding and updated regularly to reflect your current wishes. Additionally, consider setting up healthcare directives and a financial power of attorney to cover all aspects of decision-making. These preparations provide peace of mind and clarity for you and your loved ones.

If you have questions about planning for your financial future and the estate planning documents necessary to accomplish your goals, contact us at 205-631-4019 to set up a consultation.