True Love Language? A Will, Of Course!
Your Last Will and Testament definitely shows love!
You are putting together a plan for you and your family. It takes the burden off of others for having to sort out your wishes when you're gone. It’s hard to think about planning your estate and all the unpleasant things that go along with it. It’s no wonder we put it off and hope to get it started “tomorrow.” However, by getting started with one of the essentials of estate planning, a will, you’re on your way. And as you proceed, you’ll probably find that your estate planning needs are not as complicated as you thought.
The first and foremost document in any estate plan is the Last Will and Testament.
This is a legal document that allows you to specify how you want your assets to be distributed after you die. More than likely you have accumulated some assets throughout your life so this aspect of a will is important to most people.
For young families, it can also be used to name a guardian for any minor children and to appoint an executor who will be responsible for carrying out the terms of your will.
It is important to have a will because it gives you control over what happens to your assets after you die. Without a will, your assets will be distributed according to state laws, which may not align with your wishes. A will can also make the probate process easier for your loved ones, as it provides clear instructions on how you want your assets to be distributed.
Writing a will is not a “one and done” proposition. Changes in life circumstances can alter your original wishes. Some changes include:
*assets may grow or shrink over the years
*you may marry, divorce, separate, have or adopt children
*you may experience the loss of a child, husband or other family member
*your children grow up
*you may move between states, buy and sell property, or start your own business
*your personal representative or trustee may no longer be available or the relationship may change
*Laws may change (ex. estate tax laws)
In Washington, a will requires two witnesses who are not family and have no beneficial interest in the estate. Often the subscribing witnesses sign an affidavit which must be notarized, this affidavit provides evidence that the will was executed correctly and that the person making the will was of sound mind and not under duress at the time of signing.
Estate Planning Resources
While it's always best to seek legal counsel form an attorney, it often causes some financial concerns. There are plenty of low cost, or no cost resources to get you started with a basic plan.
Northwest Harvest has a complete estate planning kit you can download. Here’s their link:
Charitable Giving | Northwest Harvest
If you live in Pierce County, you can go to the following link for a Will packet that will help to get you started, along with other estate planning resources:
Will Packet | Pierce County, WA - Official Website (piercecountywa.gov)
I'm also happy to refer you to local estate planning attorneys as well.
Please contact me to learn more.
Next post in this series: Living Trusts
* As always, I am not an attorney and cannot offer legal advice but will be happy to refer you to an attorney upon request.