Monday, October 8, 2012
What to Consider When Creating Your Will
As the old saying goes, there are only two things that are certain in this life: death and taxes. While most people plan and think about their taxes on a regular basis, wills are not usually something that people like to plan. Perhaps the reason is that in order to prepare a will, a person must face his own mortality.
Creating a will can be a very complex process or not depending upon various factors. Basically, a will ensures that the wishes of the deceased are carried out after his or her death. This includes distributing the assets owned by the deceased. Wills are not just for the wealthy. In fact, anyone can create a will.
In addition to making a plan for distributing assets, a will also specifies an executor. The executor of the will is responsible to ensure that the assets are distributed as stated. In order to do this, the executor may enlist the services of a lawyer or other individual to ensure that everything is done properly.
Sometimes, parents with young children create wills in order to specify who will take care of their children should they die. These types of wills appoint a guardian of the children. The will may also specify if assets should be sold and used to pay for the children's expenses or education.
Wills may also include instructions about other assets including real estate, bonds, stocks, retirement funds, and even life insurance policies. A will may also provide for the care of any animals that may outlive the deceased. In some cases, a person may even specify that a specific charity or organization receive a portion of their assets.
In some cases, family can become very angry and upset over how the deceased wished to divide up assets. Becuase of this, it is important to make sure that a will is carefully and correctly drawn up. Any errors in the document can create huge problems further down the road. In order to fix the errors, it may be necessary for the heirs to go to court to make sure that things are done correctly. Of course, this will take time and money.
This is also true if a person died intestate, or without a will. In that case, the court will appoint an administrator to help with the process of distributing the assets.
The first step of the process is for the executor to file a petition with the local court. Outstanding debts will be paid and the assets will be totaled. The court will decide that the will is authentic and correct. At this point, the court may agree to divide up the assets to heirs.
Taxation laws vary depending upon a variety of factors. In some cases, estates may be taxed while in others, they may not be. For example, assets that have been left to a charity organization are usually not taxed. This is also true for assets that have been left to a spouse. Any assets that are valued at an amount greater than $5 million will be taxed.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7296898
Posted by Rene at 11:11 AM