Senior Finance: A Senior’s Guide To Making A Will

willAlthough many want to avoid  the topic, it is necessary for everyone with any assets – young or old – to have a will. For those of us who are in our golden years of life, having a completed and updated will is an absolute necessity and here are some helpful tips and advice for making your will.

Elements of a Will

A will provides the names of all beneficiaries to an estate, and will name a guardian or trust when minor children are involved. In general, a beneficiary of an estate will be a friend, family, or a charity.

The first thing that must be done is to name an executor. This is the person who is made responsible to carry out all of the wishes. When naming beneficiaries, it may be necessary to evenly divide the big assets, but make different arrangements for the smaller ones. An executor should be a person who is trusted. This person will be appointed by the probate court after the death and will be expected to sort through all of the estate matters. For instance, this person must settle all outstanding debts along with pay the taxes and funeral costs. It is wise to tell the person who will be named beforehand, in order for this person to have the opportunity to decline. This can be very stressful, especially after the death of a loved one. Certain individuals may wish to select an attorney instead.

A will may have certain exclusions and may not cover all of a person’s possessions. For instance, a bank account with joint access will not be covered. Any retirement plans or life insurance may also be exempt as well. This is often because a policy of this nature makes a person name a beneficiary at the beginning. When a couple has joint accounts, this means that the survivor automatically inherits all of the assets. However, a will may still be necessary or advisable.

Besides having a will, you may also want to consider setting up a revocable living trust, which can help avoid probate and speed up the transfer of assets.

Safeguarding Your Will

A lawyer may also be able to provide storage for the will as well. This is actually one of the safest places to keep a will, since there is no way that it can be tampered with. When consulting a lawyer, it may be necessary to visit the lawyer’s office two times. The first will be for a general discussion about what should be placed into the will. The second visit will be when a person must sign the document. As long as a person stays alive, the will can be changed. It is also possible for a person to construct a will at home without professional guidance.

Keep in mind that a thoughtfully crafted will will save a lot of time, money, and heartbreak for the loved ones who get left behind. It can also provide needed resources and financial security for your loved ones.

About Susan Day

Susan Day is a mother to two beautiful daughters and a grandmother to one adorable five year old boy. She is determined to live an active, happy life well beyond here current 70 years of age!

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