What Are The Advantages Of Writing Last Wills?
It’s not really common to talk about death in general. As a matter of fact, it’s really frightening to discuss it with loved ones or family members. But creating your last will in advance is a great way to lessen the stress, problems, financial issues, and disputes that may happen in the future.
Different from what people used to believe, making a will is simple and inexpensive, and it will not require a lot of your time. Here are the advantages of writing your last will:
It Informs The People Who Will Be Inheriting Your Properties
A testator is a person who creates their own last will and it is only you who can appoint a person, group, or charitable institution to be the receiver of your possessions when you pass away.
You can be sure that only those important people in your life can benefit from your hard-earned money and assets. On the other hand, you can also leave some of your assets to those people who are not related to you including your de-facto spouse, friends, and charities.
Less Stress And Disputes For Your Beneficiaries
Making a last will and testament make it easier for your family and friends to grant all your final wishes in the event that you die. Not only when it comes to your assets but also to your funeral.
When a deceased person doesn’t have any legally valid will, there will be a lot of contests from the family when it comes to their inheritance.
You Can Name An Executor That You Trust
An executor is a person that will be distributing your will and will handle all your accounts at the moment of your passing. Having your will gives you freedom on choosing who your executor/executors will be.
In the case that your chosen executor does not want to accept the task, you can also appoint a backup executor. You can also hire a professional executor like a legal professional, a law firm, or an accountant.
Speed Up The Overall Process
One more advantage of having a will is that you can get a hold of your properties as soon as possible. Your executor will not be required to go through the court as this may take months and the family of the deceased will suffer as they still need to pay for their living expenses and the funeral arrangements.
You Can Designate A Trusted Guardian For Your Children
Parents want only the best for their children. If one of the parents dies, sole custody will be given to the surviving spouse. However, if they both die at the same time, chances are their minor children will be “wards of the state” or can also be sent into foster care. That is why in drafting your will you should also name a trusted guardian for your minor children.
Standard Distribution Under The Law Of Intestacy Can Be Prevented
In accordance with the laws of Intestacy under Common Law, everything you possess will be distributed in the case that you failed to create a last will. For instance, if you are married but don’t have any children, your assets will be divided between your spouse and other family members.
Funeral Instructions & Last Wishes
As you make your last will, you will also have the chance to include your other wishes upon your death like funeral arrangements, burial or cremation, and other religious ceremonies.
Stamp duty is a tax that is charged on single property purchases or documents. Having your last will help your family when it comes to the taxes they have to pay since the transfer of properties under intestacy is exempted from stamp duty.
Paying Less Of The Inheritance Tax
As you make your will in advance, it will also give you the advantage of lessening the amount of the inheritance tax when it comes to the properties and money you left for your family. It can also help increase your tax savings.
What Are The Pitfalls Of Writing Last Wills?
The advantages of having your last will and testament mentioned earlier – are not only for your peace of mind but for the sake of your loved ones as well.
There will be a lot of times that people believe that they already made a legally valid will but there are also mistakes and hidden dangers that you may encounter as you write your last wills.
You should be mindful of those mistakes because they can make your will invalid. Here are some of them:
- Choosing a bad executor.
Your chosen executor will be the one to distribute the will and handle all your accounts. When an unfortunate incident happens that your executor cannot do their task (not mentally able, passed away) you should appoint another executor if you will.
And you should also make sure that your executor knows about the task that you entrust them.
- Forgetting about the kids.
It’s very important to name a trusted guardian in your will for your minor kids. But do not forget that you should also clarify the inheritance of your biological children and stepchildren if you want to leave them some of your properties.
- Forgetting Assets.
Some people are forgetting this important information especially if they recently buy or sell any of their properties. To avoid this mistake, the testator should always update their will.
- Forgetting about taxes, debts, and other financial responsibilities.
The testator should always consider all the potential debts there is because they can affect the beneficiaries’ inheritance. Remember that life insurance and trusts are also taxable.
- Forgetting the details.
For the final wishes of the testator upon their death or if they wish to give gifts to their beneficiaries, it should be detailed and specific to lessen the chance of dispute or contest from the family of the deceased.
- Getting the facts wrong.
You should not let any mistake make your last will invalid. Make sure that all the information you write in your will such as locations, descriptions, and beneficiaries’ relationship to you is clear.
- Not using full and accurate names.
You also have to double-check all the legal names of your beneficiaries if they are all correct to avoid legal conflicts in the future.
- Forgetting to use non-legalese.
Your Last Will eventually shall undergo probate but it doesn’t have to be written in legal language. It can be as simple as it is as long as it’s understandable and it specifically contains all your wishes.
- Forgetting to fill in the blanks.
Online will forms are becoming popular nowadays. But you should also be careful when filling out those online documents as you might miss filling in some necessary information.
- Not executing will properly.
Checking your state’s law is very important for your last will and testament to be legally valid. After making you will make sure that you signed it and you have at least one witness and get it notarized the soonest time you can.
- Not executing a codicil will correctly.
You can change your will whenever you feel the necessity of changing or updating it. You can do that through a codicil but make sure that you also abide by your state’s law to make the amends valid.
- Forgetting to update.
There are many things to consider in updating your will. Birth of a new child or grandchild, marriage or divorce, a new business, and even a transfer from one state to another.
Should You Have A Last Will?
Some people might find this a trouble and just a waste of time to create a last will and testament but as mentioned earlier there are many advantages of creating your will as early as possible. Here are some questions to help you decide if you should have a last will:
- Do you have children?
- Do you have any properties that you would want to give to other people or charitable institutions?
- Do you have pets that you would want to have a comfortable life with even after your untimely death?
If all your answers here are “Yes”, then you should consider drafting your will immediately.
At What Age Should You Write A Last Will?
Generally speaking, 18 years old is the legal age in most states. When a person reaches this certain age there are privileges and rights granted to him. It’s also the same when it comes to creating a will. However, there are actually some states who make provisions for those people who are younger than 18 years old who are already married, financially stable and members of the armed forces.
Get Started In Making Your Last Wills With Weiner Law
It’s really scary to think that one day death will surely knock on your doors. You can never be sure when that time will happen. That is why you should make a will and testament as early as possible.
Not only for your peace of mind but also for the sake of your beloved families who will be left behind. In Weiner Law, there will be qualified and trained professionals to help you draft your will so that you will have nothing to worry about.
You will be stress-free and you can continue living your life to the fullest. They have a team of professionals that will prioritize you and the people that matter to you the most.