Who Needs a Will and When?

Monday, March 9, 2020

When it comes to planning your estate, it's not always easy to decide how your possessions will be handled when you're gone. Without a will, though, you won't have the security of knowing everything will be distributed appropriately.

But, who needs a will? And when do they need it?

Let's take a look at everything you need to know.

Who Needs a Will?

Put simply, the primary type of individual who needs a will is someone who:

  1. Has possessions or property they'd like to leave behind
  2. Has beneficiaries in mind to leave their property/possessions to

If you're young, single, and don't have many assets, you likely don't need to immediately draft a will.

It's strongly recommended that you consider getting one, though, if you're one of the following:

  • Married (with or without children)
  • Reaching old age
  • You're free of any debt
  • You're the legal guardian of someone else

You can also declare how you'd like your funeral to be arranged in your will.

How Do I Get a Will?

You have the opportunity to make a will on your own. But, it's often more advisable to consult an attorney to ensure that there aren't any legal oversights that could end up being abused in the future.

Regardless of which method you choose, there's a handful of factors that you'll need to consider.

Beneficiaries

You'll need to clearly identify who the beneficiaries in your will are. Oftentimes, this includes any children or immediate family members. But, some people choose to include close friends in their will, too.

Afterward, you're ready to move on.

The Executor

When it comes time to distribute your assets, you'll need to leave someone you trust in charge of managing everything. This person is known as the 'executor' of your will.

If you don't have a close friend or family member who's up to the task, a bank or attorney can handle the responsibility for you. They need to be compensated, though, and approximately 2% to 4% of your estate may be used as payment for their services.

Who Gets What

In addition to defining who your beneficiaries are, you'll need to declare who's entitled to what. This includes money, property, stocks, etc.

As a general rule of thumb, you need to avoid being vague at all costs (even if you assume your beneficiaries will know how you would have wanted to handle things).

It's not uncommon for estate disputes to result in long-term conflicts, so it's important to decrease the likelihood of any turmoil arising as much as you can.

Keep It Safe

After you've created your will, keep it somewhere safe where you'll always be able to find it.

If you don't mind keeping it somewhere other than your home, a safety deposit box is a great location. Otherwise, a fireproof safe is the route you should choose.

Planning a Will Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn't have to be.

With the above information about who needs a will in mind, you'll be well on your way to making sure that your estate is handled appropriately.

Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.

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