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Discussing wills

Last Will and Testament

What You Need to Know About a Last Will and Testament

One of the most important parts of your end of life planning should be officially creating your last will and testament. This article will help you understand what that process should look like. Then, you can get started making a plan for your loved ones for when your time comes.

What Is a Last Will and Testament?

After you die, a lot of decisions need to be made. These can include who you want to inherit your property and valuable possessions, how you want your accounts handled, and who you want to manage your financial and legal affairs after your death. All of this information should be included in your last will and testament.

It’s important that your loved ones all understand how to proceed after you’re gone. To make sure everyone’s on the same page, you should start writing your will now. It might seem overwhelming at first, but there are a wide variety of free online will templates to get you started.

You can also decide whether you want legal help when you create your will. Some people choose to speak with a lawyer to help their affairs get officially settled. A lawyer can look over your decisions and make sure that the way you’ve drawn up your will is the best way to articulate your final wishes. 

Or you can choose to make your will on your own, without outside help. In fact, many people choose to write their own wills. If your will is fairly clear cut, this might be a good option for you. But if you have more complicated decisions included in it, like arrangements for your children or plans for multiple estates, you might want to review it with a lawyer.

Some major aspects to cover in your will include:

  • How you want your property handled
  • Who you want to inherit your valuable possessions
  • If you have young children, who you want to become their legal guardian
  • What to do with your investment accounts
  • Who you want to be the executor of your will

These can be difficult, even overwhelming, questions. But they are important. After you’re gone, you want to give your loved ones the peace of mind that your affairs will be settled smoothly. You also want to prevent disagreement and frustration among your loved ones during an already challenging time for them.

Last will and testament

What Happens without a Last Will and Testament?

Clearly, making a will should be one of the first steps as part of your end of life planning. Many people, though, never make the time to get around to it. What happens to their affairs after they die?

First, it depends on where you live. Different states have different laws about how to handle people’s affairs after they die without a will. It also depends on whether you have a living spouse, children, siblings or parents to inherit your property and possessions.

While the law differs by state, usually either your spouse or children will inherit your estate. If you have neither, then your siblings or parents will likely inherit it if you have no will to direct them otherwise. If you have no living relatives, your property will likely become the state’s.  

The state will also have to make many other important decisions about your affairs. These can include what to do about your bank accounts, investment portfolios, valuable possessions, and any other assets you may have. If your loved ones decide to challenge any of these decisions, it can result in complicated legal battles and needless family tension.

Creating a will

Creating a will does not take very long and can even be completed quickly online. In your will, you can also specifically choose who you would like to manage your affairs after you die by naming who you would like to be the executor of your will. Since this is a big commitment, you should definitely talk to the person you’d like to be the executor of your will before you include them in it. Make sure they clearly understand both their responsibilities and your wishes.

Without a will, the state will essentially become the executor, meaning it will be the one to handle all your important business. By making a will, not only will you save your loved ones a good deal of stress, but you’ll be able to make sure that your property, possessions, and accounts end up in the hands of who you want.

How My Family Documents Can Help

It’s one thing to take the time to make your will. It’s another to make sure the right people can access it when the time comes. Many well-intentioned people end up causing their families unnecessary stress. They stow away important documents, personal information, and passwords where no one can find them. While they may have meant to keep the information safe, their disorganization can lead to chaos and confusion for those they leave behind.

Your loved ones will have to refer to your will, close your accounts, plan your funeral, and manage the rest of your affairs. It’s hard enough to take care of it all while grieving, but disorganized personal information only makes the task more stressful.

My Family Documents Solutions

Luckily, My Family Documents offers a valuable tool to organize, store, and protect your essential information and documents. With it, you can easily store and access all your critical information in one secure place. Web-based options charge hefty annual fees and can be digitally hacked. My Family Documents provides a physical USB flash drive and requires only a one-time payment. It comes pre-programmed with software designed to be easy to navigate and user-friendly. The best part is that you choose where you store it. That way you can always keep your information safe.

With My Family Documents, you can be sure that your family has a secure way to access all your critical information after you’re gone. Organizing your personal documents gives not only yourself, but also your loved ones, the peace of mind that your affairs will be managed the way you want. You have the power to make life simpler for your loved ones.

Making a will is clearly an important first step to getting your affairs in order for when your time comes. It might be difficult to think about these decisions at first. However, you and your loved ones will be grateful you took the time to do it. The next step is to keep your will and other important documents organized and accessible for your loved ones. Everyone can use the reassurance that your last will and testament is finished and easy to find.

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