Contents of the Will
The contents of a will typically include any of the following:
- Specific gifts
- Specifics for children and guardians
- Executor - the person who carries out the will
When it comes to validating a will, you will need to be there as well as a witness. There are other formalities that must be followed as well to make sure it is valid. An attorney can help with this process to ensure your will is properly validated and legally binding.
Commonly Inherited Assets
When it comes to the assets that you choose to bequeath in your will to your beneficiaries, it’s important to understand how to properly categorize and pass along these assets. Some of the most common assets that are outlined in a will are monetary assets, including property, such as cars, houses, or land. Family heirlooms or things such as furniture and art can also be passed down as well.
The Difference Between a Will and a Trust
Even though wills and trusts are sometimes seen as the same thing, they are two completely separate estate planning tools. A living trust becomes active right away, while your will generally will not become active until your death. Additionally, when someone creates a trust, the trust is not required to go through the probate process after death, unlike a will that traditionally needs to go through probate.
You should discuss the various benefits and advantages of a will versus a trust with your own estate planning attorney so that you can make the right decision for your situation.
Why Having a Will is Important
Most people do not seem to realize the value and importance of having a will. They might assume that their spouse or children will automatically get everything if they die without a will. Dying without a will can oftentimes complicate the process. If you die without a will, you are considered to have died intestate — which means that the state probate code will decide what happens to all of your assets.
Your estate will go through the process of probate, which can be a long, expensive and arduous process that can only add to the stress and anxiety your family will endure after you’re gone. In the midst of mourning a loss, going through the probate process is never easy for your loved ones. With a strategic estate plan in place, you can save your loved ones the complication of any probate proceedings and ensure that your wishes are followed down to the last detail.
So if you or someone you know is contemplating creating a will or a trust as part of a comprehensive estate plan, don’t wait. Call or reach out to our firm, Christopher S. Nudo, Attorney at Law, today for reliable legal guidance. We will do everything we can to help you understand your options and craft a will as part of your estate plan so you can have a plan in place for your future.