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Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Protect Your Assets: 5 Important Things to Remember When Writing a Will

Everyone knows the importance of writing a will to protect their assets after they pass on. Fewer people actually do anything about it. A survey conducted by Caring.com in 2017 found that 60% of U.S. adults have no will or another form of estate planning in place.

Making a will is a smart idea no matter your age or current health situation, but it becomes vital when nearing the end of life. Think about the most important people and things in your life. What will they do when you’re gone?

Learn how to write a will that protects your assets and keeps your loved ones safe by asking yourself the following five questions.

 

1. Who Will Be Your Executor?

The first thing you need to consider is who you want to handle your estate after you pass. This personal representative is the executor.

Choose someone you trust entirely and who understands the responsibility. Handling an estate requires a lot of paperwork, so the person you choose needs to be detail-oriented and organized.

Put a plan in place together, so they know what to do and where to find all your important documents. Plus any passwords they may need to access online accounts.

 

2. What Property Do You Own?

There’s no making a will without talking about property. Your will should include both personal and real property, so form a list of all owned properties before you start.

Personal property includes checking and savings accounts, family heirlooms, jewelry, stocks, etc. Real property includes land, houses/condos, and any other objects that don’t move.

 

3. Who Do You Plan to Name as Your Beneficiary?

Use the list of personal and real property to figure out who you want to get what. People usually choose a close relative, like a spouse or child, or a friend as a beneficiary.

You can include additional instructions if an unlikely event occurs, like if the bequeathed person dies. Try to be as specific as possible. Also, be aware that you can only give your share of any property jointly owned, not the whole thing.

 

4. Do You Need to Name a Legal Guardian for Minors?

When one parent dies, usually the other parent automatically gets custody of their minor children. However, special circumstances can mean this should not or cannot happen.

Think long and hard about who you would want to raise your kids if the unthinkable happened and talk to them about your wishes. Name the legal guardian in your will after they agree. Always list a second choice as well in the event your first choice cannot accept the responsibility.

 

5. Who Do You Want to Care for Your Pets?

Finally, most people treat their pets as part of the family while their alive. They care just as much about what happens to them as they would any other family member. Speak with the person you would like to care for your pets, so they agree to care for your pets after you’re gone.

 

Talk to the Experts Before Writing a Will in New York

These five key questions should make it easier to get started writing a will. Remember that you need to regularly update your will to reflect any changed wishes or newly accumulated assets.

Feel like the time has come to begin writing your will? Or still, have questions about how to do it right?

Contact the estate planning and elder law experts at Yana Feldman & Associates in New York today! Their knowledgeable lawyers truly care about making sure you get the chance to have the final say before it’s too late.

 





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