Willing your estate is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your loved ones are cared for after you've gone. However, it is also one of the most overlooked, unspoken, and misunderstood topics in society today.
Despite this, making a will is one of the most impactful things you can do to safeguard your future and protect your loved ones. It might seem scary or confusing at first glance, but wills are pretty straightforward when you understand their ins and outs.
There are three main things that you need to know about wills if you have not yet made one and intend to remedy that situation soon.
Wills can be revoked
First, understand that wills can be voided before death. You can make as many or as few changes to your will as you like, but you can also decide to withdraw it if you wish. A will is personal to you, so you are the only one who can decide whether to revoke it or not.
Family members may ask you to change the terms of your will if they feel something should be different. It is best to check with a lawyer if you feel pressured to change something without a real say.
Hiring a qualified lawyer could help you mitigate confusion among family members that could even lead to a dispute over who should execute the will in the first place.
Wills require an executor
Who is an executor?
This is the individual chosen to administer and distribute your estate based on the instructions provided in your will. However, failure to assign an executor doesn't necessarily void the will. In most cases, a volunteer, primarily from the list of the beneficiaries, can take over the role.
It is advisable to ensure that an appointed individual executes wills to avoid quarrels and mistrust when interested parties (beneficiaries) undertake the role themselves.
Wills are essential in avoiding intestate probate
Wills are also critical in helping to prevent intestate probate.
Intestate probate is the process of distributing assets in the event of death when no will exists. This can lead to a great deal of confusion, disputes, and delays in the distribution of assets. If someone dies without a will and has a significant amount of assets, then a probate court proceeding is necessary to distribute those assets.
This is expensive and time-consuming, and it can create a lot of anxiety for loved ones awaiting the distribution of those assets. If you have a will, your probate proceeding will be much quicker and cheaper because everything will be decided according to your terms.
Finally, when considering making a will, hiring a licensed solicitor who knows your state laws and can ensure your will is drafted correctly is crucial. For more information on wills, contact a professional near you.