The 1st Question – Do you need to write a will?
Have you ever asked yourself this question? Most people think a will is only necessary for old people. Or people with a lot of money they need to distribute after passing away. The nearest topic that we find difficult to face is buying life insurance. Both of these instruments have a lot in common. They both take effect after the person who authored the will and whose life is insured dies. It is our fear of death that makes us ignore doing something about them.
A will is nothing more than a legal document that enforces your intentions when you are not around to do anything about it. Unless destitute, we all have assets. Usually the younger you are the value of these assets may be low. However, in today’s environment there is less correlation between age and assets than ever before. It is possible for young entrepreneurs to create substantial wealth.
Be aware that instructions in a will does not have to focus on assets entirely. You may want to leave messages for your relatives and friends. Should you have pets you may want to make arrangements as to who will take care of them.
The more effort you take in preparing your will, the fewer problems there will be for your loved ones who have to deal with the aftermath. A will is also a living document while the author is alive. Your situations will change as you get older. And so will your assets and their nature. For example, you may become a collector of valuables and may want to pass those on to specific individuals in your family. For example if you have accumulated baseball cards or even Pokemon cards you may want to bequeath those to your children or other young individuals in your family. A will is the only way you can let your intentions be known and protected by law.
How do you prepare a will?
Once you have an idea what you wish to include in your will, you need to figure out how are you going to prepare it. You could write out something yourself. But that could cause problems regarding authenticity or if there are multiple wills lying around. The best way to address these issues is to have an attorney prepare a will for you. Of course, you could give the attorney your intentions in writing and they will embody them in a legal document using language that will be unambiguous.
Finally, how expensive is it to create a will?
The final question is how much will it cost to have your will prepared for you. Basic will preparations cost a minimum of $300. Most average about $1000. More complicated wills can cost you much more. There are ways to make budget wills but beware of their legitimacy.
One of the benefits of being a member of LegalShield is will preparation at no additional cost. It is covered like so many other benefits by your low membership subscription. If all you want is to prepare a will and are not interested in the other benefits of LegalShield then I suggest seeking out an attorney just to do that. However, I urge you to review the benefits of LegalShield because you may not be aware of how being a member can give you peace of mind in a big way.
You can learn more about the benefits from this link LegalShield
How I benefited from two wills
I want to share a personal story to show how I benefited from family members who had wills. There have been only two. My parents and my uncle and aunt.
My parents lived in Canada. We all originated from India but our family resides in India, England, Spain, Switzerland, Canada and Australia. This includes my wife’s family too.
My parents had a joint will where if one member died everything passed to the living spouse. Once the spouse died their assets were to be equally divided between my three siblings and I. My Dad’s stamp album was to go to my brother after he passed away. And his coin collection would be passed on to me. My Dad passed away first. The only part of their will that was executed after my Dad’s death, was the stamp and coin collection. When my mother passed away, their estate had to go through probate. Since they had a clearly written will, the probate was a mere formality and the courts gave approval to liquidate their estate and distribute the proceedings per the will. My parents had assigned me the executor of their will.
All my siblings and some of their children made our way to Canada when my mother was gravely ill. She passed away while we were there. This simplified and sped up the process. We got the court approval to execute the will. Since neither of us wanted to take possession of their home we put it on the market and it sold after we left. Everything had been put in place to allow the proceedings to go to a bank account I set up.
There is a US tax code that allows death benefits under $3M not to be subjected to taxes. I can assure you that the amounts we all received was no where near that amount. My parents wanted to make sure we had no problems in receiving our inheritance after they passed away. And that was made possible by their will.
My aunt and uncle who lived in England had a similar will. It seems the guy always goes first. My uncle passed away and all their assets were transferred to his wife. After our aunt died the courts gave their approval to release their assets. The presence of a will helped tremendously. Their home was sold first and the funds deposited into a bank account. All the funds were divided not only among my three siblings and I but also three other relatives in India and the US. My sister who lived in Spain was assigned as the executor of their will. My Aunt and Uncle’s assets were much more than our parents. They had no kids and were very frugal. So they were able to save most of their earnings.
Once everything was converted to cash my sister made arrangements for the banks to disburse the funds to the beneficiaries through wire transfer wherever they lived.
Nail Biting Time
This happened in mid June 2016. The Brexit vote was taking place on the 22nd. We had a decision to make. If the vote was in favor of staying in the EU, the chances were that the British Pound would rise in value. And if the vote was to leave, the opposite would occur. My sister made arrangements for the funds to be transferred the day before the vote. We all know what happened to the Pound after. It plummeted. So I lucked out! If the funds were transferred a day later I would have got 20% less. I can tell you I would have lost tens of thousands of dollars!
This has absolutely nothing to do with preparing wills. I wanted to share this story to show how timing can also play a role in processing a will.
Would you like to share a story?
Should you have an interesting story in connection with a will please share it by navigating to the comments section. I would also love to hear any other comments you may have on what I have shared with you on wills.
I truly appreciate your time in reading my post.