People always assume that the main purpose of writing a will is to decide who gets a share of the decedent's estate. This may be true, but it is not the only reason for writing a will. There are other reasons why you should write a will other than deciding your loved one's inheritance. Other things you can include in your will include:
In writing a will, you shouldn't just specify who gets what; you should also name someone to ensure that all your directives are followed. Otherwise, there is a chance that your beneficiaries may start squabbling and fighting for different assets than the one you left them.
You aren't restricted to one executor; you can name more than one executor if there is a good reason for it. An example is if you wish to name your spouse as an executor, but fear that she lacks the ability to handle the task alone. Note, however, that having one executor may also have its drawbacks; for example, they have to make unanimous decisions at each stage of the will execution process. A compromise would be to name one executor and a substitute; the substitute only comes in if the executor is unable to discharge his or her duties.
You can also use your will to cancel selected debts. For example, if a good friend or relative owed you money, then you can use your will to relieve them of the responsibility of paying back the debt. If you don't do that, then the executor will have to collect the debts and share the money among your beneficiaries, but that may not be your wish.
Specify a Guardian
Selecting a guardian for your minor children is also another essential directive to include in a will. The guardian only comes into the equation in the unfortunate event that both parents pass away. If you don't do this, then you leave the decision up to the court, which may choose someone you don't want to raise your kids.
Choose a Trustee
If you have minor children, then it makes sense that they may not be able to manage their inheritance, trust funds or other forms of assets they receive from you. You can specify a trustee, a trusted person who handles the properties until the minors come of age. Many people agree that it is best to have a separate guardian and trustee; just because a person is good with children doesn't mean that he or she is a good financial manager too.
Whatever you choose to include in your will, ensure it is not against the law. If you include an illegal directive, then it will not be carried out, and even the whole document may be deemed invalid.
To learn more about estate planning, contact a law office like Lisa Cappolella Attorney at Law.
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