If you want a say in your asset distribution, you need a will.
What is a will?
Is it just something in television shows designed to bring conflict among family members?
A will is an important legal document for any adult American.
According to a recent Inside Indiana Business article titled “With a Will, It's Done Your Way,” a will provides direction to the court on how you want your assets distributed.
Only 36 percent of individuals with minor children have a will.
This leaves the fate of your children and your assets entirely in the hands of the laws of your state and the court system.
In short, you money may go to relatives who will squander what you worked to build.
It also means your children will be reared by someone selected by the court, not by you.
This could be a person who does not share your values.
Can you say "crazy Uncle Bob"?
What can you do to fix this?
Work with an experienced estate planning attorney to create a plan to meet your goals and needs.
A thorough estate plan also involves naming an executor.
What does this individual do?
He or she acts to fulfill your instructions contained in your will.
It a significant responsibility.
Be sure you select the right person.
You also should select a secondary executor in the event the first is unable to carry out the duties.
Talk to an experienced estate attorney who can prepare your will make sure your wishes are clearly articulated and minimize the potential for others to contest its terms.
What exactly does an executor do?
He or she will inventory your assets, pay of your just debts, notify your heirs, and then to distribute your assets under court order.
The executor will also notify credit card companies and cancel your accounts.
Social media accounts will need to be closed.
A bank account will need to be opened for your estate.
He or she will also file your will with the probate court.
As you create your will, you should also review your beneficiary designations on retirement accounts or life insurance policies.
These assets do not transfer through a will.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Inside Indiana Business (June 11, 2018) “With a Will, It's Done Your Way”