WILLS – Get ‘Er Done

Will

Decide to get your will done or re-evaluate your current one. Understand the valid need to have a will and its effects if you don’t. I’ve had two close friends die within the past few years and neither one had a will. They left their surviving spouses and family scrambling about to try and accomplish the many needed legal procedures, such as probate court; hiring an attorney to represent you in court; bank and savings account disposition. They were both lucky in one respect—neither had juvenile children and the associated problems of where and to whom they might be placed.

This all occurs at a time when all your available time has been compressed due to all of the running around and the accompanying research time trying to figure out just where and what needs to be declared and/or discovered in some instances due to one spouse either doing all the finances or a spouse letting the other spouse do everything. I attended and was a witness for one of the spouses and it involves lawyer dispositions and court “face time” not to mention the cost of all of this at a time when your finances are under strain.

Some of the major factors you should consider when you start the will process are: disposition of non-adult children; providing for individuals with special needs or circumstances; wealth transfer taxes; planning for the transfer or disposition of a closely held business interest; protecting assets and legacies from potential creditors; providing for a favorite charity, achieving “equity of inheritance” among beneficiaries and heirs.

If you’re married or in a relationship with a significant other and your interests are mutual, you should get with them to determine the best plan that you both can agree on and then write your respective wills. The last part is to have the will or wills executed which makes the will a valid legal document.

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