Are you among the 50 percent of Americans who haven’t created a Last Will and Testament? If so, it’s time to put together an estate plan to account for all your final wishes and instructions. This process begins with a Last Will and Testament.
Writing a will may seem complicated and scary because it makes you think about your own death. It is simpler than you might assume. To get started, create a timeline you want to follow for this influential document. Just as you would plan out a strategy for tackling home projects, you also need a plan for writing your will.
An estate plan can be thought of as a “love letter to loved ones.” What’s a better way to show your family and loved ones how much they mean to you than making sure they are provided for after you’re gone?
A will is much more than distributing your estate. It also details your final wishes regarding funeral preparations and other instructions you want to leave behind for the people you care about. Having this legally binding document prepared takes stress off the shoulders of family who are already dealing with the strong emotions of grief and loss.
Think of a will in a positive light by remembering how better prepared you and your loved ones will be in the future.
What if you do not create a Last Will and Testament? What if you choose not to leave final instructions for your loved ones? Without a will (or living trust), your estate is overseen by the probate court. The process for your family to receive assets and property can take months. Additionally, your estate may or may not be distributed how you would want and may end up tangled in legal disputes.
Without a will, everything is up in the air and at discretion of the probate court. Although this project may not be the most fun to tackle, lack of preparation of this document could end up adding a lot of stress and complications for your loved ones.
Your anxieties regarding the creation of your own will might decrease a bit once you actually start the process. You certainly have to take the time to make sure all of your information is correct and you have gathered all necessary paperwork.
It may also help to think small instead of the overarching long run. Instead of trying to design an estate plan of what could happen within the next 40 or 50 years, consider the present and what your wishes would be if something were to happen within the next two to five years. You can always adjust your plan as you go through life to match a long term plan.
When prepping to start this project, set up a timeline and schedule for creating your will. It doesn’t have to be completed in one sitting. You can break up each task so the work doesn’t appear as daunting.
Although you can create a legally valid Last Will and Testament without the assistance of an estate attorney, it may help to have a consultation with a trained professional. This can help you be sure you're on the right track and you are meeting all necessary legal requirements.
You can use document preparation sites such as Complete Wills to create a custom and personalized will without the hefty expense of an attorney. The process is simple because you can receive complete instructions for each step of the document.