Valuable Information! Writing a Will, Plan Now

"Your Best Interest is My Priority"

Anna will be addressing various items of value each month. Whether it is ways to save money, articles to increase your knowledge of property buying and selling, or the latest information in the mortgage industry, the purpose is to save you time, money or both! Here we highlight the main points and offer a printable version for expanded reading.

Please visit our archives page for past Items of Value. Listings are in chronological order and include Items of Value and Market Trends articles.

Plan Now

Writing a will ensures your family is taken care of after your passing. Without it, the state ultimately decides how your assets will be distributed. You will prevent uncertainty by having an estate plan, and a basic will is the first step in implementing an estate plan. As you acquire more assets, a more sophisticated plan may be necessary.

For more information please read the entire newsletter here

Here are the steps to making your basic will:

Your best bet - set up a trust

  • Decide what property to include in your will - Decide which items should (or must) be bequeathed by other methods outside your will. Keep in mind that if you’re married, each spouse makes a separate will.
  • Decide who will inherit your property - Don’t forget to choose alternate (contingent) beneficiaries, too, in case your first choices don’t survive you.
  • Choose an executor to handle your estate and carry out the terms of your will
  • Choose a guardian for your children if they are under 18
  • Choose someone to manage your children's property if they are under 18 - If you leave property to children or young adults, you should choose an adult to manage whatever they inherit and give that person authority over the child’s inheritance until adulthood
  • Make sure your will is valid - Many states have different requirements that must be followed for a will to be valid. Make sure you understand and follow those requirements or get help from a legal professional
  • Store your will safely - Tell your executor where your will is and how to get access to it when the time comes.

Map out your options

There are three fundamental ways you can own property. How a particular asset is titled will affect whether your property will be probated. Probate is a court-supervised procedure of identifying and determining the value of a person's assets, paying the person's final bills and taxes, and distributing what is left to the person's heirs.

  1. Individual Ownership - An asset held solely in your name.
  2. Joint Ownership - There are three forms of joint ownership; Joint Tenancy, Community Property and Tenants in Common
  3. Title by Contract - Contractual relationships can be entered into that allow an account owner to designate a beneficiary. Examples are banks, insurance companies, investment firms and retirement account custodians.

For more information on protecting your assets after your passing, read the entire 'Plan Now for Your Estate' newsletter.

 

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