Parents may not like to dwell upon their untimely deaths, but creating a will now will help ensure your family's finances.
A will is a legal document that specifies how to distribute your assets and investment accounts to your family and others should you unexpectedly die. It's important to understand what a will can do as you plan for your family's future.
You need a will to work your will. Dying intestate (without a will) turns important decisions over to a state probate court judge who will follow standard procedures to distribute your wealth. A will allows you to name your beneficiaries and the amount they inherit, which might be very different from what the state considers to be standard.
Your will can specify a guardian for your children. In today's society, many parents are single with no obvious candidate to assume guardianship of your children should you suddenly die. You can designate a guardian in your will rather than leaving the decision to the state. Naming a guardian protects your children from state custody and ensures a trusted person looks after your children's future.
Use your will to establish trusts when you die. Your will can be used to create trusts that start up upon your death. Using trusts, you can address specific concerns, such as caring for a special needs child, managing your investment portfolio, or preventing a child from misusing a bequest set up for college expenses. You can fund your trusts from various sources, such as life insurance policies, and set the conditions for distributing the money.
Plan payments for debts and taxes. Your will can lay out how to repay any remaining debts and taxes. You also can use your will to make charitable gifts and thereby reduce the size of your estate. In some cases, this will lower or eliminate the burden of estate and/or inheritance taxes upon your family.
Setting up a will is worth your time. When you consider the advantages provided by a will, the effort going into creating one is a small price to pay. Contact me and together we can review your financial portfolio. I can answer any questions you may have about your finances before you meet with a qualified attorney to create your will.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for individualized legal advice. Both the sender and LPL Financial do not provide legal advice or services. Please consult your legal advisor regarding your specific situation.