Making A Will – 10 Little-Known Facts You Need To Know

The pandemic has changed people’s thinking on many things, not the least of which is estate planning and making a will. 

Here are ten things you need to know that you might not have considered. 

1. What happens if you pass away without a will?

If you pass away without a will, you and your loved ones will not be in charge of how your assets get distributed. Dying intestate (i.e., without a will) means the state courts will decide who gets your belongings and who will become guardians of your children.

2. Some assets are distributed regardless of what your will says

This isn’t quite as scary as it sounds, but you do need to be aware that some assets are passed on outside of the will, regardless of what you put in writing.

3. You can set up a will for free, but beware of the limitations

If you search online, there are many free or low-cost templates you can download to make a will. But be aware that these forms will not necessarily comply with all the specifics of your state laws.

One document you may want to consider is a living will. This is an advance healthcare directive that outlines your wishes should you be unable to make those decisions. 

4. There are other documents you should consider besides just a will to protect you and your family

This can be a tough decision and probably requires a conversation with the would-be guardians. However, it is definitely in your best interest to have this written down and not left up to the state courts to decide. 

5. Name guardians for your children

If you want to pass money down to your kids but don’t want them to receive a massive windfall early, you can create a trust to hold one or more of your assets. You can then make your child the beneficiary of the trust. 

6. Consider setting up a trust

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