A will is a legally binding document that outlines a person’s wishes for the distribution of their assets and the care of any minor children after their death. The absence of a will can often result in a court or state official stepping in to make decisions about your assets leading to family strife.
Allowing qualified lawyers to draft such an important legal document is crucial to protect you and your family. They can ensure that all of the necessary details are in order and continue to help you update the will when required. You may need to update your will if changes occur in your marital status, after the birth of a child or if you want to add a guardian for minors.
When should you make a will?
Irrespective of your age or position in your career, you must have a will if you have any assets. If you are a young adult and have some assets, maybe you are working tirelessly to grow your business, or perhaps you have certain sentimental items or traditional heirlooms; either way, this is the time to start making a will. Even if you do not have children yet, you can always amend your will in the future to include them.
Especially since the pandemic, life has become highly unpredictable; it’s always best to have a will and protect your assets as best you can.
What happens when you die without a will?
If a person dies with no will, they are considered intestate. In this case, the assets will be distributed per state laws. A judge must oversee such cases and appoint an administrator to create a will. The legal proceedings over properties and asset distribution can be overwhelming for the family and friends of the deceased. To avoid putting your loved ones in such a stressful situation, drafting a will in time is very important.
What if a beneficiary predeceases you?
The ideal way to write your will is to ensure each distribution has a suitable backup plan. Sometimes, a beneficiary in your will may die before you do or may not be willing to shoulder the tax burden. In such cases, you should designate alternate beneficiaries or leave the decision to the appointed inheritor to find the best alternative.
Who will witness the signing of your will?
Any person above 18 years of age can act as a witness to your will. It is wise to appoint someone who isn’t a beneficiary or a beneficiary’s spouse to avoid conflict of interest. Lastly, witnesses cannot be visually impaired because they need to read and understand what the will constitutes and witness the act of putting pen to paper.
Where should you keep the will?
A probate court requires original documents before handling your assets, so they must be kept safe but accessible. If you store the will in a bank safe only you have access to, your family may have to seek a court order to get access. A waterproof and fireproof safe in your house is the best alternative. Always make sure that your lawyer has access to the latest version of your will to avoid any discrepancies in the future.
Contact us today!
Mikhailitchenko Law Office has been providing effective and practical legal support to families and businesses since 2013. Our experienced attorneys will provide you with solutions tailored to your need. To get assistance in drafting your will, contact the Mikhailitchenko team today.