People often hear that a will is an essential end of life document — but why? For many individuals, they believe that they do not have enough money or possessions to warrant the creation of a will. However, the document is not only a tool for the wealthy; it is a tool that ensures your final wishes are heard. There are five primary things that a will does after your passing and during your life.
- Names an Executor
The document allows you to name an executor of your estate. The executor is the individual in charge of the settling of your debts and the distribution of your assets. While you can choose a professional, like an attorney, as an executor, many people prefer to select a relative or close friend. Whomever you choose, make sure that you trust them and that they are up to the task.
- Lays Out the Distribution of Assets
The primary aim of a will is to lay out the distribution of your estate. Anything important to you should be named in the will. You want to take as much control away from the courts as possible, ensuring that only those you wish to benefit from your death do.
- Names Beneficiaries
When distributing your estate, you can name as many beneficiaries as you would like. If you only want your immediate family to receive an inheritance, that is your prerogative. You can also choose to leave assets to friends or charities. There is no hard rule to who you can leave property, except for animals.
- Allows for Flexibility and Change
The beauty of a will is that it is, for all intents and purposes, a living document. As long as you are alive, you can make changes to it. Therefore, while many people hesitate to make a will when they are young, they should not. Time is not guaranteed, and if your feelings or your situation changes later, then you can make amendments to the document.
- Aides the Probate Process
While the creation of a will does not eliminate the probate process, it does aid it. By specifying how you want your estate disbursed, the court does not have to go through a lengthy process of making those decisions for you. Your will makes sure that your wishes are known.
No one can force you to make a will, but living without one is a risk, especially when you own property or have savings and investments. Contact a lawyer, like an estate planning lawyer in Melbourne, FL from the Law Offices of Arcadier, Biggie, & Wood, to discuss the benefits of a last will and testament.