It’s tough for most people to face the fact that one day they will die, but it’s a reality that every individual must deal with. Because your time may come faster than you expect if tragedy strikes or an accident happens, it’s important that your family is protected and your assets are distributed properly before you die. One way to ensure that your possessions go where you want them to go is to set up an estate plan or will with an attorney. No will is complete without the following four things.
1. Who gets the children?
Many children each year lose a parent, and studies suggest that losing a parent in childhood may even affect how long your child lives. While you may feel young and robust and ready to take on the world, you can’t control every risk factor, and there at times when things are out of your hands. If you have small children who will be left behind, you should always name a person in your will to be responsible for caring for them. If your spouse is still alive, he or she can raise your children, but in the event that you are both gone, it’s important to have someone named in your will who is prepared and ready to care for them properly.
2. Who gets the assets?
Your will also includes where your assets go as they are liquidated. You can leave money to your family, friends and even charities. Those who don’t specify in their will how they want their assets to be distributed may find family members in arguments and fights over who gets what. You make the process simpler when your will includes information about where you want your assets to end up.
3. Who handles your accounts?
If you die suddenly, you may have social media, banking and email accounts that are still in your name. Include in your will the name of the individual who is in charge of managing these and give access to them. This is a new consideration as the world becomes more reliant on digital technology, but also one that is vital to have in your will.
4. Who is the executor?
You must also name an executor in your will who is responsible for ensuring that your terms are carried out appropriately. Choose someone you trust who can stay emotionally detached from the situation as much as possible.
When family members are grieving and life is in chaos, their stress can be reduced by an existing will that takes care of the legal details. An attorney can answer any personal questions you have about your own will.