There are two major traditional estate planning vehicles that most people utilize: the will and the trust. Each has its own advantages, and many people utilize some combination of both. This week on the blog we want to take a closer look at wills and the benefits they can provide to those who use them.
To start, a will can provide peace of mind. This is because an individual who has a will knows that when he or she passes away his or her assets will be distributed according to a plan that is laid out in that document. Those who don't have a will when they pass away may have their assets distributed in a way that goes against their wishes. This latter form of distribution will be in strict adherence to the law, which may or may not conform to one's desires. Also, an individual can utilize a will to dictate who will care for any surviving children.
The benefits of a will do not end there. A will may reduce the amount of estate taxes owed upon an individual's passing, especially if assets are given to charity. A will can also help a family avoid lengthy and oftentimes costly probate processes. Also, an individual can specify who will administer an estate upon his or her passing. While a person can name beneficiaries and disinherit others, a will can be a flexible document in that it can be rescinded or modified.
Wills can be as simple or as complex as needed to convey an individual's wishes for his or her assets upon death. However, these documents need to be carefully crafted to avoid any vagueness or ambiguities, as such flaws can prove fatal to an individual's plans. This is why many choose to turn to qualified estate planning attorneys for the creation of these critical documents. To find assistance with one's estate planning needs, one need only research attorneys who are qualified in this field and reach out to one that he or she deems appropriate.