Protect Your Assets: What to Include in a Will and What to Leave Out
About 70 percent of Americans haven’t written their will. Are you one of them? You might think that you should be wealthy enough to write a will.
Yet, experts say that if you have a family or own a home, writing a will should be at the top of your to-do list. You may be considering writing a will later in life. But, there isn’t any day better than today to start your estate planning.
Don’t know what to include in a will? We’ve got you covered. We’ll tell you the top priority things to include in a will today. Read on for your personal will guide.
The Real Asset Protection Tug of War: What to Include in a Will
When it comes to estate planning there’s no one size fits all formula to writing your will. The main importance of writing a will is protecting your wealth and family. You want to make sure your property goes to the right person.
You may think your investments and savings from your retirement planning are things to include in a will. Yet, you may not even be able to distribute those assets in your will.
Don’t know what should be included in a will? Here are the 2 top priority things to include in a will to protect your wealth and family.
1. Name of Your Executor or Representative
While a court may appoint an executor or representative to distribute your assets according to your will. It’s recommended that you name an executor or representative to distribute your assets.
This person will take care of the probate process in court to distribute your property following your wishes. You should consider consulting an estate planning attorney to learn more about the will probate process.
If you’re a parent of minor children, you should name someone as the guardian of any children. Your will allows you to name who will take care of them if you pass away before they’re legally adults. If you don’t name a guardian on your will, the applicable laws will dictate the guardianship of any children.
2. Instructions to Distribute Your Personal Property
You may think you can distribute your retirement plan and life insurance proceeds. Yet, there are a set of rules that govern what happens with these assets after you pass away. Also, keep in mind that you can’t include in a will any assets from a living trust or property owned in joint tenancy.
Some of the things to include in a will are any personal property such as your car, home, heirlooms, money, and bank accounts.
Make sure to describe your property in detail so there’s no mistake in the distribution of your assets. If you own bank accounts payable on death, you must fill the form with your bank to name the beneficiary of the account.
Also, many people think funeral instructions are one of the things to include in a will. Yet, the probate or distribution of a will won’t happen till after the funeral of the deceased.
The Bottom Line
Deciding to write your own will is the first step to protect your assets and loved ones. While figuring out what to include in a will may be difficult.
You shouldn’t keep putting it off. Focus on how you want to distribute your assets and seek advice from an expert.
While hiring an attorney isn’t necessary. It’s recommended to consult a lawyer before writing your will. They can provide advice tailored to your situation and assets.
Want to learn more ways to protect your wealth? Check out our Money Section for more interesting articles.