Why do I need a Will?

Welcome back to my series on estate planning. In case you are just joining me, I want to let you know that we are mid-series in a string of articles about estate planning. Page back to Why do I need an Estate  and see what you’ve missed and stick with me throughout the next series!

To understand if you need a Will, I think you need to know what is contained in a Will. A few key sections may help you better understand the Will.

A Will is the most basic document in an estate plan. Basically, it names the players in your estate and the avenues for the distribution of your property. So, let me tell you a little more about the players and their functions.

  1. Executor/Executrix: This is the person in charge of the Will and making sure that everything in it is completed according to your wishes. You can name an alternate in the event that the person who is your first choice is not available.
  1. Trustee(s): This is the person in charge of any trust that is in the property (for more about Trusts, see the next article in this series entitled “Why do I need a trust?”  If you have a trust in your plan, this is the person/persons in charge of executing that trust in accordance with your wishes.

 

  1. Guardian(s): This is the person in charge of your child(ren), any children for which you are a guardian, or any children/relatives that may not be able to care for themselves (ie due to handicap or incapacitation) in the event that you are gone when he/she/they are still too young to care for themselves. There is no need to tell a parent why this is a crucial decision and why this alone is reason to create an estate plan.

 

In addition to naming these people/players in your Will, you will name beneficiaries (those that receive your property); grant specific items (family watch, painting, Grandma’s diamond ring, etc.) to your family members, plan for asset distribution and/or create parameters to receiving a distribution (ie a trust that requires any party to be 25 years of age) in your Will.

 

Remember to follow me this week for a series of articles about the many areas of estate planning. Always remember to check out my answers to questions posted on our Facebook page and check back often for more news, blogs and law updates on estate planning! As always, contact me when you are ready to meet and discuss, or update, your own estate plan.