Legal Questions? / Legal Answers!
It's Time To Write Your Will
"A Will is a Legal Document that lists where and to whom, your assets will go to. If you pass away without a will, the State you reside in, may decide who gets what from your belongings. Usually, if you leave a spouse or children behind without a will, the assets are split between them. If your single without children or spouse, your state probably will decide who will inherit your estate."
So you don't own a house, have really nothing of value and wonder why you would even need a will. Well, besides being able to leave "personal" belongs to specific people, you no doubt have a checking account, a vehicle, perhaps tools or jewelry. For parents, who believe they have nothing of value to leave. That would be a wrong assumption. You have kids that will need to be placed with someone you have previously asked and trust. In your will, you can designate a guardian to care for your children.
If you and your spouse both passed away without a will being done, the state court and social services department might appoint someone to raise your children. I believe they would try to contact family members first if possible, but even that is not a sure thing. Even if you believe you have no property or belongings worth leaving to your children, it is still worth making out a will. This will ensure you get to choose their guardian or parents, in the event of your death. You can also assign a property guardian or "trustee" to manage any money or property you left for your children. At least until they reach adulthood. You can appoint one person to act as both personal and property guardian, or choose two people to carry out each role.
Make Out Your Will For Free!
There are several requirements for making your will a legal document. It should be typed or computer generated to ensure it can be read correctly. Some states do allow hand written wills. Your will should state that it is YOUR will and it must be dated and signed by you. You must sign your will in the presence of at least two witnesses (three in some states, such as Vermont) and your witnesses must also sign. A legal will does not have to be notarized (except in Louisiana), nor does it have to be recorded or registered with any government agency.
There may be times in your life when you may need to change or amend your will. A new marriage, new assets, a change in health are some examples. You can change or amend your will at any time. In fact, it's a good idea to review it periodically.
It's important to know the difference between Beneficiary and Executor of a will. Especially if you have a pension, life insurance policies, health Insurance accounts or 401K.
It is also important to know that a Will is NOT a living will. A living will is actually an advance medical directive which tells those that need to know, what kind of life-sustaining medical intervention you may want... or not want. This directive is usually in the event that you become terminally ill and unable to communicate.
If you would like to comment feel free to e-mail me at
My Final Thought...
"I'm aware that this is a subject not a lot
of people want to take the time to explore.
Most think they have all the time in the
world, yet we all know ...that is not the
case. In our lives, we have had to deal with
our own personal responsibilities and this
last one, is the most important one. If everything
is spelled out, there may be no disagreements
between your family members or friends. Knowing
what you are going to do with yourself and
your property after your gone, allows your
family to morn you, not fight over you.
One more important thing... Make sure someone knows where your will is.Tell your spouse, partner, or executor where it is located or kept. If it cannot be found, that might cause delays and undue stress for your love ones. I hope you have looked at the Family Death - What You Need To Know link. They should help you with making out your will."
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