Wills & Estate Planning
Power of Attorney

A will is a very important estate planning document that allows people to declare who gets their stuff when they die. Without a will your property and assets will pass to your heirs according to the laws of intestate succession.  As an example, your spouse will automatically inherit your possessions without a will, which means your children may get nothing if you have divorced and remarried.  Without a will your legal heir will get everything you own, so if you want to give things to multiple people you will have to have a will to do that.

You may also use a will to direct how certain things are to be handled after you die such as who will raise your children if you die prematurely or to set up a trust fund to manage your children’s inheritance until they reach a certain age.  Anyone who has minor children should have a will to prevent a child custody battle between surviving family members in the event you die before they reach the age of 18.  A will can also be used to determine how your debts will be paid, which can greatly affect the inheritance of your heirs. For example, you could declare that your life insurance proceeds shall be used first when paying debts of your estate to make sure your home passes to your designated heir free and clear of any liens or mortgages.  That would require you name your estate as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy.

You may think your case is simple and that you don’t need anything special or complicated, but it is always a good idea to discuss your plans with an attorney to make sure there isn’t something you’ve overlooked or that some standard language on a will you bought from the Internet ends up screwing one of your heirs out of what you intended to give them. 

You may also want to consider executing a Living Will, which is an estate planning document that states your wishes in regard to end of life care and whether you want to be kept alive on machines or left to die naturally in the event of a serious illness or injury.  Without a living will your family may not be able to consent to medical treatment or to remove life support depending on the circumstances, so you should consider getting a Living Will to make your wishes known.

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Wills & Estate Planning

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