Having a will drawn up is probably not on your list of the Top 10 Things You Need to Do, but it should be. A will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign in your life, and it’s important that a will is done correctly.
What is a Will?
A will is your only means of expressing your wishes about who is to receive all of your real estate, cash, and other personal property. Once you are gone, this document is all your family has to speak for you. As a result, it deserves thought and planning.
A will can determine who will get guardianship of any children you have who are under the age of 18 when you die.
If you die without a will, it will be up to the state and Probate Court to distribute your property according to laws called intestacy laws.
Your Personal Representative
The person you name in your will to carry out your wishes is called a personal representative. In some cases this person is referred to as an Executor if it’s a man, or Executrix if a woman.
It will be up to your personal representative to see to it that the terms and conditions of your will are carried out according to your instructions, including the distribution of your property.
Other jobs that your Personal Representative will have to will be to take an inventory of all your personal belongings, to collect any assets due the estate, to pay any debts and estate taxes that may be due and owing, and to manage all the assets of your estate.
The Review and Updating of Your Will
Life changes, and your will should reflect those changes. Your will should be updated if you get married, divorced, have children or grandchildren, retire, or have any major changes occur with your finances or income.
Your will should be drawn up by a qualified estate planning attorney who knows and understands the laws of your particular state. You should plan on reviewing and updating your will at least once a year, more often if certain life situations warrant it.
The importance of having a will cannot be stressed enough. With a will, you are protecting your family and loved ones for the future. Dying without a will could lead to financial difficulties for the loved ones you leave behind, and your wishes will not be known or followed.
For nearly 25 years, Jon Ostroff has been representing the estates of over 100 children and adults who have died across Pennsylvania as a result of someone else’s negligence. Jon will spend the time and money it takes to figure out what happened to your loved one. If unable to recover money for your loved one’s estate, Jon will pay these costs.