Let's talk about Wills! August is Make-a-Will Month.
Let's talk about Wills! August is Make-a-Will Month. It's a great time to share information about estate planning basics including creating a Will, assigning beneficiaries, TOD, and POD, property titling, Advanced Medical Directive, and Trusts, along with helpful links on what you can do to prepare. This week we will cover estate planning basics and making a will.
What is Estate Planning?
The preparation of tasks to serve as a way to manage a person's financial situation in the event of death or incapacitation. Tasks of estate planning include bestowal of assets to heirs and settling of estate taxes, debts along with other deliberation about guardianship of minors and pets. Formal estate planning is best aided by the help of an attorney in estate law, SAS Financial Advisors, LLC are not attorneys. We do know and refer SAS Clients to excellent estate planning attorneys. Some essential steps in estate planning are listing debts & assets, reviewing financial accounts and writing a will.
Even if you believe that you “don’t have an estate plan,” you do - by default! Each of the fifty US states has its own Probate Law which will define a way through Probate Court how your assets, debts, and entire estate will be distributed. Probate Court is a default and can be contestable or argued in court, expensive, and very time consuming. In a post-Covid 19 world, some Probate court cases are taking years to complete and fully settle an estate. Part of estate planning is assembling the titling, beneficiaries, and medical documents for your entire estate in a way that so your heirs may receive your assets directly, bypassing the extra costs and time involved in Probate.
What is a Will?
A Will, sometimes called a Last Will and Testament, is a document recommended for each individual to have on file. In a married household, each spouse will have their own Will document. A Will is contestable, can be disputed, in Probate Court. However, a Will is the *only* way to assign a guardian and conservator for each minor aged child under age 18. Choosing who to assign as guardian, a person assigned to take care of child in the event of all parents prematurely passing, and conservator, a person assigned to take care of child financially, can be the toughest part. Actually, creating a Will can be relatively straightforward.
Each individual should have their own Will document.
For assigning a guardian and conservator for minor aged children, each parents’ Wills might consider listing the same person for both roles on both of their Will documents. There is an option to list a secondary and tertiary choice, in that case, keeping the same prioritized list of chosen individuals is a good idea.
A Will may be updated as often as needed, and it is a good idea to inform any individuals you assign as guardian and conservator.
Notary signature is usually not required, and two witness signatures are required on each Will document.
Often, some state’s Bar Association may offer a free PDF to a Will template with instructions. Google “[insert your state name] statutory will” or “[insert your state name] statutory will template.”
For a fee, there are estate planning attorneys who may offer drafting services for a Will as well as online drafting options such as: trustandwills.com and myadvocate.com.
If you have a Will or have any questions about Wills, make a note to discuss this in your next meeting with your SAS advisor team.
None of the content in this blog shall be taken as legal advice.
This is not legal advice, if you need assistance in this matter contact the right persons. SAS Financial Advisors, LLC is not responsible for any third-party content referenced in this.
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This website is informational only and does not constitute investment advice or a solicitation. Investments and investment strategies recommended in this blog may not be suitable for all investors. SAS Financial Advisors, LLC and its members may hold positions in the securities mentioned within this newsletter. SAS Financial Advisors, LLC is not responsible for any third-party content referenced.