Making a Will – 10 Little-Known Facts You Need to Know

According to one study, over 68% of Americans do not have a will.

The pandemic has changed people’s thinking on many things, not the least of which is estate planning and making a will. In 2021, young adults are 63% more likely to have a will than they were pre-pandemic. Before you sit down to plan your estate, here are ten things you need to know that you might not have considered.

1. What happens if you pass away without a will?

If you pass away without a will, you and your loved ones will not be  in charge of how your assets get distributed. Dying intestate (i.e.,  without a will) means the state courts will decide who gets your  belongings and who will become guardians of your children.

2. Some assets are distributed regardless of what your will says

This isn’t quite as scary as it sounds, but you do need to be aware  that some assets are passed on outside of the will, regardless of what  you put in writing. Some examples include: – 401(k) plans – Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) – Life insurance policies

3. You can set up a will for free, but beware of the limitations

If you search online, there are many free or low-cost templates you  can download to make a will. But be aware that these forms will not  necessarily comply with all the specifics of your state laws.

4. There are other documents you should consider besides just a will to protect you and your family

One document you may want to consider is a living will. This is an  advance healthcare directive that outlines your wishes should you be  unable to make those decisions.

5. Name guardians for your children

If you are a parent, you will want to make sure you use your will to name guardians for your children. This can be a tough decision and probably requires a conversation with the would-be guardians.

6. Consider setting up a trust

If you want to pass money down to your kids but don’t want them to  receive a massive windfall early, you can create a trust to hold one or  more of your assets. You can then make your child the beneficiary of the  trust.

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