To make a will is an important factor in asset protection. If you don't determine the distribution of your assets at your passing, guess who does? The state will and we all know how that story typically ends.
Of course, the most important role of the will is to distribute your assets to your beneficiaries in a timely manner, under the right conditions and restrictions. You want to conserve your assets and avoid asset eroding factors such as probate, income tax, estate tax, etc.
You don't want to be in the situation where you are dying without a will. Your assets will be divided among the beneficiaries according to state interstate law. Typically, your spouse will get one third of the estate while your children get the remaining two thirds.
If you are successful in making a will before your death, your assets will be distributed among the beneficiaries according to the directives of the will. Thus, naming beneficiaries is an important aspect of drafting a will.
Keep in mind that hard assets like cars, furniture, and jewelry can only be distributed via a will or trust.
We drafted our first will a couple of years ago before we had any kids. One misconception is that you should only make a will if you have children. This should not deter you from this process. You can pass your wealth to a cause, charity, church, or other loved ones.
After we had our first child, we updated our will. You will want to keep it up to date so the passing of your assets will not be held up if the will is contested. When a will is contested, it can delay the asset distribution process and incur unnecessary costs.
"You are not ready to live until you are ready to die."
This process should not be a morbid experience. It actually gives you a sense of satisfaction knowing that you will be passing down your valuables according to your liking.
It's the hard-easy way. Do the hard part now - draft a will. When, not if, you pass away, it will be easy for your family to receive your assets. In a time of grieving, the last thing your family will want to deal with is your estate.
"When there's a will, there's a way"...to distribute your wealth. Remember, protect the ones you love because they are the true assets.
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