Writing up a will is one of the most important things you will ever do in your life. As unfortunate of a truth as it is, you are going to eventually leave this world and everything you own will be left behind. Having a will is the only way to ensure all of your possessions go exactly where you want them to once you pass away, otherwise the state you reside in will distribute your assets according to local ordinances. Every base must be covered in your will, so here is a quick checklist of things to include.
If you have children, writing a will is a great way to secure a safe future for them should you pass away before they turn 18. Most states will default legal guardianship of your children to a parent or sibling of yours, so in order to place your children under proper care, you must clearly and specifically state who you want to look after them. Legal guardianship can also include holding onto property or other assets your children will inherit until they reach a certain age. Your children are your number one priority as a parent, which is why you should guarantee their safety and health through your will.
Real property pertains to land that you own, which includes ownership rights of the land and everything that is physically irremovable from it. For most people, this would just be your house and the surrounding property that you own (but not the specific items inside your house). Transferring ownership of real properties is a lot more complicated than your other belongings because of the value they hold, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done! We will work closely with you to ensure your property is transferable.
Personal assets include everything you own that does not fall under real property; these range from clothing, personal belongings, and other smaller items to bank accounts, vehicles, and family heirlooms. We understand that you likely have an overwhelming amount of personal assets to account for, which is why we suggest starting this process relatively early in your life. Listing as many assets as possible and providing clear, descriptive directions will make life much easier for your executor.
Your directions are no good if there is no one to carry them out. That is where the executor comes in. The person you choose to be your executor is in charge of fulfilling all of your guidelines for distributing your possessions. Being a good executor is a very tall task to see through, so choosing someone to take on this role could likely be the most difficult part of this process. We recommend you choose a trusted, responsible, and healthy family member or friend as your executor. If you do not know anyone that you can trust with this responsibility, you can name one of our attorneys as your executor!
Writing a will can be stressful and time-consuming, but it is a document of utmost importance. That is why we want to help you. The trusted attorneys at Goldberg and Chase Law recognize and understand the difficulties behind creating a will, and we are committed to making this process as straightforward and stress-free as possible.