6 in 10 Americans don’t have a will.
Many adults think they’re too young to worry about writing a will but the truth is they’re not too young. It’s important to plan ahead even though no one wants to think about the grim realities of death.
Failing to properly plan your estate could leave your assets in jeopardy and your children’s fate uncertain. Fortunately, preparing your will is something you can start today.
Keep reading for 4 tips on wills and estate planning to help ensure your family’s future is secure.
1. Keep It Updated
Simply writing your will is not enough. It’s important to regularly review it to make any necessary changes and ensure it’s up to date.
An out of date will could have worse consequences than not having one at all.
It’s recommended to review your will every 5 years, but anytime you experience a change in your life you should take a look at it. Changes that may occur and impact your will include heirs having died or remarried, your estate administrator dying or no longer being capable of performing their duties, and your own marriage or divorce.
2. Storing Your Will
The second most important thing after creating your will is properly storing the document. If your family or heirs can’t find your documents, things won’t go as you had planned.
It’s recommended to keep copies in a safe at your home and in your lawyer’s vault.
Don’t keep your will in your safety-deposit box. When you die, access to your safety-deposit box may be put on hold and your heirs might not be able to access it right away.
3. Hire a Professional
When it comes to planning your estate, there is no shame in hiring a professional with expertise in the area.
No two estates are alike and what you need to include in your plan depends on a lot of individual factors. For example, if you own a business you will need a succession plan.
If your children have special needs, they may need to have a special needs trust established. Professionals like Family Wills and Trusts can explain options to people of every income level.
4. Living Wills
Living wills are just as important as traditional wills thanks to the capabilities of modern medicine.
Living wills also called advanced directives, help your family make medical decisions if you become incapacitated. With a living will, you will choose a person who is authorized to make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot make them yourself. For example, if you are on a ventilator or a feeding tube, this person will help doctors determine whether you want to be kept alive.
More Help with Wills and Estate Planning
It’s understandable why so many Americans avoid creating their wills and estate planning because the process can be confusing. It’s also natural to not want to think about our own demise.
However, it’s important for the future of our assets and heirs that we clearly lay out our intentions before our passing. Consider hiring an estate planning lawyer to make sure you are covering all your bases.
To find a lawyer in your area, click here.