You will probably agree, that the family is the biggest treasure that makes life worth living. However, you would also agree that money makes life easier. When mixed together it can either go great, having the best of both worlds, or go south. You are probably asking yourself: “But we are such a happy family, that won’t happen to us.” Hopefully. But things get heated quickly when money is involved. So what is the best thing you can do today to decrease the chances of your family arguing over money? What is it that you can do to ensure that all your close ones are taken care of? – Do proper will planning.
Things to Consider When Planning your Will
The sole purpose of having a will, also known as a legal testament, is to avoid possible disagreements between your family members after your death. However, as a human being, you might not want to go head-to-head with your family so you might opt not to communicate your testimony before your death so as to avoid any possible conflicts. As a result, the only person that your loved ones might be angry at is you, so they won’t take that upon themselves.
Now that we agreed that having a will is necessary for your family’s future well-being, let’s dig deeper into how to plan your will properly so all your close ones are taken care of.
Educate yourself on the common methods and rules of property distribution
Make sure to inform yourself of the rules applicable in the country/state where you live and the most common methods of property distribution in general.
Inform yourself about the most common scenarios that might arise
When creating a will, you have to be as precise as possible. If something is left unsaid or it is left hanging in the air, it may grow to become a problem for your beneficiaries. They will have to make difficult decisions that will be driven by emotions and fight these battles off in court. And as we all know, when feelings are involved, people seem to make irrational decisions. Hence, you have to be aware of the problems that might arise if you want all your family members to be taken care of in the will. Here are some solutions to possible negative scenarios you may face when creating the will:
- Be precise. Consider what will happen if you leave a piece of real estate to multiple beneficiaries and one of them wants to sell the property while the others do not. Exhaustively explain what happens in that situation in the will so that your family doesn’t go against each other.
- Divide your assets by value. If you write off some of your family heirlooms to multiple beneficiaries equally, be aware that the beneficiaries might have to sell that valuable family possession so as to distribute the value amongst them justly.
- Mention everyone. If you want to leave off a child from the will make sure that you put that in writing. The sole fact that the children won’t be named in the will doesn’t mean that it is not legally obliged to inherit an amount of the property.
- Think of the minors. Even if you name your minor children as beneficiaries, they will not be able to directly receive any assets appointed to them before they turn 18. Until then, assets need to be put in a Trust managed by your appointed Trustee, who is either the child’s “Guardian of the Person” or “Guardian of the Estate.” Hence, you have to have trustworthy and transparent communication with the Trustee. It is your responsibility to choose people that you know can collaborate and act on what’s best for the child.
- Consult with your attorney. If you are unsure of what to do and how to split your financials, the different investments, or bonds/stocks that you might have, get help from an attorney. It will be extremely efficient to have an objective and professional opinion from a third point of view. The attorney can carve out a way to make certain that all the beneficiaries are well taken care of.
- Update your will regularly. If your will is outdated, please update it immediately. As time passes, people change, and circumstances change, so what you thought was fair compensation amongst your beneficiaries may not be applicable right now.
Take into account what happens if you don’t have a will
Think of your end goal and that is your family is taken care of. You want to tailor the will so as to leave your family the same or even better than before. There are numerous reasons why you should create a will to ensure peace, happiness, and justice amongst your family members, but let’s imagine what happens if you don’t. If you don’t have a will, you probably will be divided by the court’s succession laws. The court will also decide who becomes the guardian of the child, hence you are risking leaving your children to a person who may not be the most suitable psychologically or financially to take care of the child.
Taking into the assumption that we have convinced you to create a will for the greater good for your family, it is your responsibility to undertake all the steps possible so as to ensure that every family member is satisfied with their part and is well taken care of. Indeed, by suggesting this we don’t infer that you need to do this research on your own. On the opposite, we encourage getting help by talking to your trusted lawyer. While we can’t help you carve the will, we will definitely help you with storing it and making sure it is safe and sound to be used once the time comes.