What would happen if you died today? Would your loved ones know what to do? More importantly, what YOU would want them to do, or what your last wishes were?
A will or trust could express your last wishes and how you want them carried out. When a person dies, if there is no will, often the family is lost. Sadly, in cases where there are more than one person that is to be an heir, disputes can occur and some families are torn apart. Having a will or trust could prevent this from happening.
Most individuals are so busy coping with their recent loss that they are unable to make reasonable and logical decisions regarding property, assets and financial affairs left by their recently departed loved one.
Making proper, just and sound decisions can be extremely stressfull and an additional burden to your loved ones in the event of your death. This can all be prevented, making a smoother transaction for your loved ones, and giving them the time they need to grieve properly by creating a will or trust.
For an individual with few assets and real property, a will can be created that is ready and waiting for their loved ones. Having a will prepared in advance assists your loved ones greatly by carrying out what you would want them to do next.
Having a will creates a smoother transaction by directing them in how you want them to distribute and manage what you have left behind for them. Having a will prepared will help your family make the right decisions because you have already made it for them in advance without being under stress.
With a will, assets are not directly controllable. Wills have to go through probate prior to control of the assets or property left in a will being transfered to whomever they were left to or to the executor to distribute among the heirs.
Trusts are generally used for individuals with a higher financial responsibility and assets and for those that need their affairs managed immediately, without the wait for probate or distribution.
A trust provides direct control and transfer of assets and property to whoever you have listed as the trustee to manage immediately on behalf of the trust in the event of your death or incapacitation. Many individuals create a will and a trust to be used in conjuction with each other.
Unlike wills, trusts do not go through a probate process. The trust is set up while living and property and assets are handled through the trust while you are alive. Trusts and wills need to be written properly so that they are not challenged at your time of death. Many wills and trusts are challenged because they were not drawn or written properly or the contents are misinterpreted.
An improperly created will or trust, or a will and trust that is unclear, can lead to confusion and challenges to it’ directions or contents. Many wills and trusts are thrown out or have to be clarified in court in order to be executed because they were difficult to interpret or clarify. This can cause additional stress and burden to your loved ones at the worse possible time.
Wills and trusts need to be written so they are concise, clear, and the instructions properly defined and written. This can be a complicated process; one error in the writing of the will or trust could lead to a challenge.
Wills and trusts need to be updated regularly for additional assets, property or instructions after the original creation of the will or trust. Failure to update the trust or will could leave the new asset vulnerable to being able inaccessible and upon your death or incapacitation. It also creates cause for challenges and complications.
Having an attorney create a will or trust, or both if needed, will ensure that they are written and executed properly. The security of knowing your loved ones are taken care of the way you wanted them to be, as well as taking care of your assets the way you wanted them to, is a more than comforting thought. Many attorneys, once a will or trust has been created, will also update them if needed at no additional charge.