Every person should have a will. It doesn't matter if you have a lot of assets or just a few, you need to have a will to tell people how you want things done after you die. If you don't have a will, other people are going to make all the decisions for you. Items and money that you may want to go to a certain person won't end up where you want them. Things that you said before your death might be completely ignored. It is much harder to ignore things that you have written down in a will. Before you write your will, it's important that you know what a will can and can't do.
What Can Your Will Do?
There are a lot of things that your will can do.
- Name an executor: An executor is the person who will administer your estate after your death. They will see to it that your wishes are carried out. You can name anyone you know to be an executor. Some people choose to name the lawyer who helped to write their will. This can be a good idea because the lawyer can be objective and not wrapped up in any family issues. You don't necessarily have to ask the person you want to be your executor, but it's generally a good idea.
- Set a guardian: If you have young children or are the caregiver for someone, it is your responsibility to make sure that they are cared for after your death. In your will, you can set out who that person or persons should be. In this case, you really need to make sure that you ask the person that you want to be the guardian if they are willing to do it.
What Can't a Will Do?
There are a few things that your will can't do for you, no matter what.
- Pass on property in joint tenancy: If you have any property that you share with someone else you can't pass that on to a third person. For example, if you share a house with a spouse, you can't leave it to a friend or child.
- Transfer items you have in a living trust: Once you have placed that money or property in a living trust, it is untouchable through a will. The trust has to be handled the way that it was set up, and can't be rearranged by your will.
Having a will is important. It's the only way that you can make sure that everything is handled the way you want it to be. Talk to your lawyer, such as Marberry Law Firm, P.C., for more information.