For most of us, it’s not exactly uplifting or easy to talk about the end of our lives. This is a big reason why many people in Texas put off estate planning until they are older. Yet, tomorrow is not a promise to us. Although death can be an uncomfortable subject to discuss, avoiding the issue altogether and leaving yourself and your loved ones unprepared for this inevitable event is even worse.
It is never too early to think about securing the future for your family and loved ones. A will is one of the best ways to ensure that others carry out your wishes and that your property and assets go to those you care about. However, estimates show that less than half of all Americans have a will or some sort of estate plan in place. Here’s why a will is a good idea for every family and how you can create one.
Why you need a will
A good reason to create a will is thoughts about what will happen if you die without one. If you die without a will, you will have died “in-state,” and your state of residence will decide what happens to your property after you die. Dying without a will can also set the stage for battles and disagreements among loved ones that could go on for months and tear families apart.
Creating a will
Having a will can give you peace of mind that your family will receive the care they need, and your assets will go where intended. Fortunately, creating a will is not as complex as you may think, and you can complete it in just a few steps:
- Select an executor: Also called a personal representative, an executor is the person who will be responsible for handling your estate. Your executor should be a person you trust, and since administering your estate involves much paperwork, he or she should be well-organized.
- List your property, assets and debt: You will need to compile a comprehensive list of what you own to work from while you decide who gets what. Be sure to include any debts you have if your remaining assets do not cover them.
- Choose your beneficiaries: Beneficiaries will be those who will inherit your property and assets according to your will. It is also a good idea to list alternate beneficiaries in case your main beneficiaries pass before you.
When writing your will, be sure to be as specific and realistic as possible. Using clear language and exact names will minimize the chance that others will misinterpret your will.
Getting estate planning help
Although creating a will or an estate plan may not be as complex as you think, state laws will ultimately dictate the requirements needed to legitimize these types of documents. Also, depending on your circumstances, a will may not be the only estate planning document you need. If you are ready to create a comprehensive plan for you and your family, there are legal professionals available who can guide you through the process to ensure laws are followed and your wishes are taken care of.