A will is a legal document that coordinates the distribution of your assets and property after your death. It communicates your wishes clearly and accurately after you’re no longer around to do that. A will also names your estate executor (the person who will make sure your will is carried out correctly) and guardians for your children if you have any.
If you die without a will, known as dying intestate, state law determines what will happen to your assets. If you have a spouse and children they normally take priority. If you don’t, it gets more complicated.
So does everyone need a will? Let’s take a look!
The only situation where you might not need a will is if you are young, broke, single, and don’t have any kids. Basically, you don’t need to direct your assets if you have no assets or no dependants to give them to. However, if you have a spouse, children, or a positive net worth, creating a will is a worthwhile investment.
There are several different types of wills. The most basic kind is a simple will. It’s exactly what it sounds like – a will without any extra stipulations or clauses. For married couples, there are joint wills, mutual wills, and mirror wills. Joint wills and mutual wills are one document, signed by both parties. This is can cause issues if one of the spouses passes away because the other spouse is unable to change anything after their spouse passes away. Mirror wills are preferred now because they are technically two separate wills. Although most couples choose to leave everything to their surviving spouse, a mirror will gives them the freedom to leave specific items to other people besides their spouse.
Other types of wills include holographic wills (hand-written), nuncupative wills (spoken), and deathbed wills. It’s important to know that each state has different rules regarding the validity of wills. For example, the State of Nebraska does not recognize nuncupative wills as legally binding.
Wills are an essential part of creating your financial solid ground. There are several options available to create a will, including online legal sites or estate attorneys. The right choice for what type of will is best for you and where to have it prepared will depend on how complex your needs are.
Interested in starting your journey toward financial solid ground? We’ll help you figure out where to start and support you along the way. Contact us to schedule an introductory meeting and to learn more!