For various financial accounts and holdings, and for different legal arrangements, you'll need to gather…
Finding your Will
When your loved ones cannot find your will, it can cause chaos and disagreement for your family. This article will walk you through the importance of writing a will and storing it with My Family Documents.
What’s the Point of a Will?
As you get older, you’ve probably heard that you should write a will to make things easier for your loved ones after you’re gone. It can be easy to put things off and never get around to it. Most people don’t like making arrangements for their end of life planning and find it difficult to think about.
Unfortunately, the alternative is even worse. Without a will to guide them, your loved ones will be left scrambling to make important decisions on their own. This can lead to uncertainty and feeling guilty that they may not be making the choices you would have wanted. It may also cause disagreement among your loved ones. They may not all agree about what you would have wanted.
This will already be a difficult time for your family. The loss of a loved one is a painful, stressful time. You don’t want to make things any harder for them.
Without a will, your property and assets will fall into a complicated legal situation called intestacy. This means that important assets like your property and financial accounts will be transferred to the state. A probate court will be responsible for managing your affairs after you’re gone. The court will decide who the appropriate beneficiaries of your property and remaining funds are. They will also make arrangements for your young children if you have them.
The court might not make the decisions you would have wanted. Their decisions are based on your state’s probate law and cannot accommodate your loved ones’ wishes if you haven’t left behind a will. Your family will be stuck with a decision that might not be against your wishes.
Probate court is also expensive and time-consuming. Legal and court fees will be taken out of your accounts, meaning your loved ones will be left with less. Meanwhile, settling your affairs in probate court can take months or even years. Your family will have to spend a great deal of time and energy on legal proceedings to make sure that your property and accounts are managed.
The same things can happen if no one can find your will. Sometimes people write up their will but then don’t choose to store it in a secure spot that their loved ones can find. If no one can find your will, it won’t carry any weight and your family will be in the same position as if you hadn’t written one at all. My Family Documents can help you make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
Writing Your Will
Writing a will is an easy way to avoid leaving behind unnecessary chaos and stress for your family. With a will, you can let your loved ones grieve in peace. There are a variety of free, easy-to-use online will templates that prompt you to fill in your own information. You can always choose to create your will in the presence of an attorney or to have one review your will, but it isn’t necessary. As long as you are clear and include the needed information, your will is legitimate.
Here are some of the most important things you should be sure to include in your will:
Plans for your property
Decide who you would like to inherit any and all properties you own.
Beneficiaries of your major financial assets and accounts
Make plans for your bank and investment accounts. Select beneficiaries for any remaining funds and assets you may have.
A designated financial and healthcare power of attorney
Choose who you would like to make important end of life medical choices for you if you are unable to do it for yourself. Make sure to also designate a financial power of attorney who will be responsible for your financial decisions after you’re gone.
Arrangements for young children or pets, if you have them
You will have to name a guardian for young children if you are no longer able to care for them. You should also make arrangements for your pets so that they end up in good hands.
Name the executor of your will
The executor of your will is the person you trust to carry out the wishes you’ve listed here. Make sure they are comfortable with the responsibility and have a strong grasp of your end of life preferences.
End of life preferences
Your family will need to make many important decisions after you die. These can include funeral arrangements, an obituary draft, and burial/cremation plans. Be sure to leave clear guidelines behind so that they can choose what you would have wanted.
Instructions for your digital assets (i.e. digital accounts and devices)
As technology advances, many of us have gathered quite a few digital accounts: social media, online shopping, bank, blog, email. Leave behind a plan for your loved ones to handle these the way you’d like.
Without clear arrangements in your will for all of these, you risk your estate being transferred to probate court and causing a legal headache for the loved ones you leave behind. You don’t want to cause them any extra uncertainty, stress, or chaos. Writing up and securely storing your will can make sure this doesn’t happen.
Storing Your Will with My Family Documents
Many people choose to keep a paper copy of their will stowed away somewhere in their house. Unfortunately, paper wills can be easily lost or destroyed, leaving your loved ones in a difficult situation.
To avoid this problem, My Family Documents offers an easy-to-use document storage tool that lets you store important personal documents in one convenient place. It’s a USB flash drive that comes pre-programmed with user-friendly software that prompts you to include important documents you’re loved ones will need to access after you’re gone.
With My Family Documents, you can store not only your will but also other personal documents that your family will need. These can include financial statements, insurance policies, investment portfolios, end of life arrangements, and contact lists.
All information on the flash drive is encrypted and you choose where you store it, so you can always be sure your documents are secure. Just be sure to tell your loved ones where you store it so they can easily find it when the time comes.
Having all your important documents gathered together in one secure place will give your family the peace of mind that they will be able to find everything they need. My Family Documents will also help them avoid complicated legal proceedings and the chaos of a lost will.
You can make sure your loved ones are able to grieve in peace. Get working on your will today and store it with My Family Documents to make sure your family is prepared.