What is a Will?

A will is a document you can create to detail what will happen to property owned by the creator upon their death. Both personal and real property can be considered and stipulated in a will. It can be an invaluable document to protect your legacy and provide direction for your loved ones after your death.

Common Aspects of a Will

A will typically includes the designation of an executor, specific beneficiaries, guardians for any minor children, and instructions for how and when heirs will receive assets.

An executor is appointed to carry out the wishes and expectations of the decedent’s estate. Choosing an executor is a significant task. The executor should be thoroughly trusted and capable of carrying out their responsibilities concerning the decedent’s wishes, both protecting and managing the assets. This person is typically a relative, trusted family friend, or legal professional.

A beneficiary is a person named in the will to receive property or other assets from the decedent. A person, corporation, or other organizations, such as charities, can all be typically named beneficiaries.

Selecting a guardian for minor children involves choosing a person responsible for the child’s care should it be necessary after the parents pass.

What is Probate, and Why Is It Important To Understand?

Probate is a legal process that all decedents’ families must endure. The process can vary greatly depending on the assets involved and the decedent’s preparation before death.

The process requires minimal involvement with the courts for estates under a value of $50,000 with no real property. In this scenario, typically, the heirs can file affidavits proving they are the beneficiaries and entitled to asset transfer.

An informal probate process may occur when a will is in place and the heirs do not contest it. A more formal probate process may need to occur if there is a will in place, but it is contested or is unclear, invalid, or if there is evidence of recent significant changes to the will in place.

The probate process can be time-consuming and costly without a valid will in place. For this reason, having an enforceable will that is accurate and valid can help your loved ones save time and money in finalizing your estate upon your death.

Benefits of Having a Will in Place

Several appealing factors are at hand regarding ensuring you have a valid will in place. One of the most important is that you can dictate how you wish your assets to be distributed rather than allowing the courts to determine what is fair during the probate process.

For example, should you have family members that you wish not to have access to your assets after you are gone, you can control this by creating a will. Several individuals participate in this process to help their heirs avoid arguments that can cause significant distress throughout families.

A Comprehensive Estate Plan is an Invaluable Resource

One of the main benefits of having an estate plan is to minimize the tax ramifications for your loved ones after you are gone. An effective estate plan can help distribute assets strategically to lessen or eliminate some estate taxes. Another essential aspect to consider is having an effective estate plan in place to help protect your assets from creditors. By working with your experienced estate planning attorney, you can use your estate plan to ensure that creditors can’t come after your assets, and instead, they can be distributed to your loved ones as you see fit.

Another critical aspect of an estate plan is creating Power of Attorney documents that allow others to make crucial decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. Financial and medical decisions can be carefully planned and stipulated so someone else can step in as needed and ensure that your wishes are carried out and managed appropriately.

How Can An Estate Planning Attorney Help Me?

Though it can be challenging to approach the subject of our own mortality, creating a comprehensive estate plan can be one of the most loving and caring things you can do for your loved ones. It’s inherent in most of us that we want to protect our loved ones and provide for them. An estate plan allows you to do just that even after you are gone.

After all, your legacy is something you have likely worked for your entire life. Protect it and provide a reasonable plan that ensures your loved ones or charities that you care about can benefit for years to come, and your assets aren’t left in the hands of those you don’t want to have access to them.

Not all estate plans will look the same. Each set of assets and each family is different. Therefore, a skilled estate planning attorney can utilize their experience and dedication to create a customized plan that uniquely maps your wishes and expectations. This plan allows for fewer questions, worries, or arguments after you are gone and allows you to remain in control of your legacy now and in the future.

Contact our office today at 303-557-2011 to learn more about how our dedicated team of attorneys can provide invaluable resources to you and your loved ones. We offer free initial consultations so you can discuss your questions and concerns confidentially and form a plan that offers peace of mind for you and your loved ones.