Preparing your family for what happens after you pass away is one of the most important gifts you can leave them with. Although it can seem like a depressing topic, it is a positive way of ensuring you still take care of your loved ones in the event of a tragic, unexpected accident, an illness, or passing from old age. If you have never written a will, though, you may be unsure of what it should include. However, this uncertainty should not stop you from protecting your family and your assets. If you would like more information on things to include in your will, read below to see what you will need. For more in-depth questions, a lawyer can also be a great asset.
What Your Will Can Do For You
The purpose of your will is to speak for you after you pass away. If there is any doubt on your opinion or what you would have wanted, your will is a place where family, friends, and a court can look to legally show your last wishes. Below, you will find a few items that can provide your will with the right amount of information when questions might arise.
- You can name your executor. This is important because someone must represent your will after you pass away. The executor of your will ensures your beneficiaries and loved ones carry out everything in your will exactly as you have written it. However, the named executor can decline. In this case, it is always best to have someone else listed as an alternative executor.
- You can name someone as your children’s guardian. This is imperative, especially if your spouse or the children’s mother or father is no longer alive. You want to make sure someone you trust will take care of your minor children once you die.
- You can name your beneficiaries. A will is a place to decide who gets a property, assets, gifts, and even cash. Typically, the beneficiaries will be children, a spouse, or other close family members.
- You can specify the ways you want your finances to cover any remaining expenses or debts. This is helpful when it comes to your funeral costs, probate costs, and any additional taxes that come with an inheritance. You can even detail the specific bank account(s) you want the money to come from to save your loved ones that headache.
- You can protect your home. If you are leaving your home to someone in particular, you can outline the ways that you want them to care for your home when you pass away.
- You can take care of your pets. If you have pets when you pass away, it can be scary not knowing what will happen to them after you die. Because a court considers pets to be a form of personal property, you can leave them to someone you trust and have a fund to cover any additional costs for re-homing, vet visits, and food.
How Else Can I plan?
Although a court will not require you to use an attorney when you are creating your will, having an estate planning lawyer Allentown, PA trusts can help with any remaining questions regarding different will laws and determining the best things to outline in your specific will.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Klenk Law for their insight into estate planning and wills.