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Wealth Transfer: How to Ensure Your Will is Ready to Execute

A will is a legal financial document that will allow you to bequeath your assets to loved ones. Many people put off the task of making their will because it is a reminder of their own mortality and because it requires thoughtful, and sometimes difficult, decisions.

However, if you take the first step, you will find that accomplishing this important task can be a gratifying experience. If you follow these tips, you will ensure that your will is ready to be signed and executed.

Make a List of Your Assets

To begin making your will, you must compile a list of your assets. This list should include property addresses, bank account numbers, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds that are not yet assigned beneficiaries and any other assets you have accumulated over your lifetime. Your list should also include items like vehicles, airplanes and other expensive items.

Choose Your Heirs

You can then make a list of those you would like to inherit your property. The most likely choices are spouses, children and siblings, but you may also have other people who have been important to your life that you would like to bequeath something to, to thank them for their love and support.

Bequeath Valuable Personal Items

Personal items are not usually named in a will unless they are valuable enough to be considered an asset. Small items such as jewelry or clothing are not generally listed in a will. Property that you have enjoyed collecting over the years that are likely to increase in value, such as antiques, coins, historic maps and rare prints, should be included in your will to ensure proper disposition to the individuals you wish to have them.

Name an Executor

You will also need to decide on a person to ensure that your bequests are properly distributed to the named individuals. This person, called an executor, is generally a spouse or adult child, but if the estate is complicated, it may be best to leave the task to an attorney. If you don’t designate an executor, you may have to hire a probate lawyer.

According to Probate Lawyer Leon J. Teichner & Associates PC “After an individual dies, his or her property and assets must be dealt with, whether or not he or she had a will. Often, the descendants or relatives of the deceased make claims for the assets, in which case the representative of the deceased must settle the estate or turn the job over to a probate attorney. The probate process is also essential in cases where the deceased left assets that are valued at over$100,000. Some assets are not included in calculating this total, such as IRA funds, life insurance payouts, and remaining 401(k) balances. Probate administration is a complex process full of legal restrictions. For instance, if any assets are owned jointly by the deceased and another person, they are not eligible for probate. Hiring a probate attorney gives you a better chance of settling the deceased’s estate respectfully and satisfactorily. “

The process is of making a will is not difficult, but it does require considerable thought and organization of paperwork in order to provide the necessary details for proper execution after death.

If you take the time now to get your will drafted and signed, you will be able to enjoy living your life, knowing that you have taken care of this important financial matter. Your heirs will thank you for the time and attention you gave to make inheritance matters easier for them.

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