Having a well-thought out Will provides security and peace of mind for you and your family. A Will ensures that your assets are distributed and affairs are handled according to your desires after death. Without a Will, assets will be distributed to beneficiaries according to the intestacy laws of your state of residency.
A Will generally includes:
- Designation of an executor who will be responsible for carrying out the provisions of the Will
- Beneficiaries, who are the individuals or entities inheriting assets
- Instructions for when and how assets should be distributed to beneficiaries
- Guardians for any minor children
Some assets may already have beneficiaries associated with them, separate and apart from Wills. A common example of this is a life insurance policy, where a beneficiary is often named at the time the policy is created. Other assets, however, do not have stated beneficiaries, such as physical property.
Wills generally are subject to probate, a legal process for settling an estate. The probate requirements will vary by state.
Accomplish Your Goals With a Will
When appropriately drafted a Will can ensure that you are prepared for almost any contingency of asset transfer after death. Wills can include distribution of all your assets, from jewelry to retirement accounts to the family home.