Why You Need a Will and Other Estate Planning Documents
Having a will is an important part of preparing for life’s more difficult moments. A will is a document that tells your loved ones who you want to get things like cars, houses, or bank accounts after you die.
It also makes sure that these people are taken care of financially if something happens to you. For example, if you have a will, then your house and car can be sold and the money divided up among your family. This way, no one gets a big advantage over anyone else!
There are many reasons why everyone should have a will. This article will talk about some of them.
Who will inherit your estate and pay your bills?
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Even if you have no children, or don’t plan on having any in the future, it is important to prepare for what happens after you are gone in the event children are a factor.
A will creates an orderly process of who gets what when you die. It also defines how family members should be treated and paid money. This includes paying tuition, supporting them while they are studying, and even giving them a leg up financially so that they can live their lives independently.
There are many ways that beneficiaries can be determined in a will. Probably the most common ones include spouses, kids, parents, siblings, close friends, business partners, charitable organizations, and religious groups.
Having a will, and naming an executor, also gives someone the ability to pay your bills, take control of your finances, and disburse with your property after you are gone. Without naming someone, it can be very difficult for the people you leave behind to tie up all those loose ends.
It’s very important to think about whom you would want to take care of yourself and your loved ones at a time when you can’t. Because beyond educating young people, investing in educational opportunities for them, and helping them get through college, you want to leave them with enough to lead full lives once they are out of school.
Who gets to make important decisions about your health?
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Even if you have no children, or you plan to never marry, having a Living Will is still very important. You may not think much about who makes medical decisions in life, but others do!
Medical professionals are trained in lots of things like how to handle certain conditions, what treatments are effective, and which ones are unsafe and/or harmful. They also know when it’s time to refer you to someone else for care, or even take more drastic action.
For example, say you’re diagnosed with cancer and can’t pay for treatment anymore. Your doctor might recommend trying an alternative approach that’s less expensive or possibly giving you an opportunity to try another type of therapy instead. Your loved ones would likely want you to choose to use those treatments. If you are capable of making decisions for yourself, you may choose to turn down these treatment options. But what if you cannot speak for yourself? You need to make sure your wishes are known to those who will make decisions for you. Having a Living Will allows you to state what types of treatment you want and don’t want, and also, perhaps more importantly, it allows you to name the person or persons who get to make those decisions for you. Sometimes that will be a spouse or child, and sometimes someone else. That is your right, and having a Living Will allows you to exercise that right.
Who gets to make important decisions for your children?
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Probably the most important decision in any parent’s life is deciding who will take care of their children after they die. After all, what is more important that who has control over your child? Having a will allows you to name a guardian for your children, both in body and financially. And they don’t have to be the same person! Without naming a guardian, it will be left up to your family or friends to go to court to be named as legal guardian. This can be a tedious and expensive process that can be avoided if you name someone in your will.
Who gets to keep your personal possessions?
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Even if you’re living in a house with no mortgage, you should have a will. Your estate may contain assets such as furniture, cash, stocks, and retirement accounts that require a trustee or beneficiary to access them. Who gets to control these items depends on who is listed as an heir in your will. But what happens to all your other belongings? You may own jewelry or other items of sentimental value.
The most common situation is for your survivors to negotiate about how to distribute your personal property after death. This could be tricky because people can feel attached to certain things so they might try to keep them even though they have no right to. It’s important to plan ahead by creating a will and perhaps by leaving a written note telling friends and family who you want to have certain possessions.
Who gets to keep your insurance, pension, and other assets?
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Even if you don’t have kids, or even if you don’t own a house, or don’t work for a company that offers retirement benefits, you need to think about who will get to keep your money after you die.
Certain assets like life insurance and pensions don’t necessarily pass through an estate as an asset, but you should still make plans to ensure that the people you want to benefit from these assets after you die are able to do so. You should always make sure to prepare by naming beneficiaries on accounts.
Do you have a partner?
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Especially if you are in a non-traditional family, it is important to spell out how these loved ones should be treated once you are no longer around.
This is where a will comes in very handy. A will allows your loved ones to know what to do with your belongings, who gets to keep what, and even how they should be paid for things. It also gives them some legal protection when you die.
It is important to think about all of your possible survivors as well as their relationships with each other. For example, if you have a child from a previous relationship, what happens to your children may need to be discussed.
Who gets to take part in your business?
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As owners of a business, you need to think about who will be involved in running your company after you are gone! This includes who has access to your financial resources, as well as your personal assets.
You should have a will in place that covers everything from whom people get to know about your business, to what happens to your belongings once you die. Most importantly though, it lays out who gets to run your business while you are still alive!
Businesses can easily become something special to someone else, even family members. Make sure your wishes are clear so that no one is left wondering if they’ll inherit anything or not.
It’s also important to make sure that your employees feel like they are being cared for and paid properly while you are living – which means establishing efficient work relationships and practices, and making sure everyone knows how to contact others concerning future employment.