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Have you thought about what would happen to your family if you were no longer alive?
It’s a morbid thought. It’s also something all parents should think about if they want to protect their families. One of the best ways to care for your family after you are gone is to have a will.
Having a will ensures that what you wish for your family will actually happen when you die. It’s a legacy that most don’t like to think about, but is of the utmost importance.
What is a will?
A will is a legal document that establishes your wishes concerning your property and assets as well as the care of your children if they are minors. Wills are designed to set forth a clear understanding of how to settle your affairs in the event that you pass away.
Why do I need a will?
Anyone interested in taking care of their family after they are gone should consider having a will. Having a will won’t cover every detail of your assets if you die, but it can ease the burden on your family and friends during a time of grieving.
Choose who cares for your children
If you have children, they are your biggest asset. You want what’s best for them. That includes choosing who will care for them if you die.
If there isn’t another parent capable of caring for them, the court will appoint a guardian to raise your children. While the court tries to choose what is in the best interest of your children, they may not choose someone different than you would.
Unfortunately, you don’t have a say (since you are gone) unless you have a will in place. Regardless of what kind of portfolio you have, if you have kids, you should have a will.
Decide what happens to your assets
If you don’t have a will in place, you have no say in what happens to your assets when you die. What’s at stake here?
- Real Estate
- Retirement accounts
- Life insurance policies and annuities
- Your business
- Any valuable personal property
Without a will in place, decisions about your estate are left in the hands of a court. This process is known as probate. For most, it took time and hard work to build up all of these assets. To invest so much energy only to leave them in the hands of the court doesn’t make sense.
Choose who handles your children’s finances
If you are leaving an inheritance for your children, having a will means you can also choose who you want to handle those finances until they are considered an adult, usually at 18 years old.
You can choose the same guardian for your children and their finances, but you also can choose someone different if desired. But you don’t get a say if you don’t have a will.
Appoint an executor
In your will, you can choose an executor. This is the person who is going to administer your estate after you have died.
Their job is to carry out the instructions left by you in your will. They represent your best interest. If you don’t choose an executor, you have no say in who handles your estate when you are gone.
Related Article: 5 Term Life Insurance Providers That Make the Process Easy
Should you use a lawyer for your will?
Drafting a will isn’t that complicated, but it’s also an important document. You want to make sure you get it right.
Is that possible without going through a lawyer? That’s not easy to answer.
For many people, creating a will by themselves makes sense. Maybe they don’t have a ton of assets to worry about or they have a good grasp on what they want to happen after they pass.
Others might find that using a lawyer ensures that no detail is missed during the process. Using a lawyer can also give peace of mind that your will is legally binding. A lawyer is good to use if your affairs are more complicated than the average person.
How to get a legal will inexpensively or free
One of the main reasons people choose to create a will on their own is because of legal costs. Crafting a will with the help of a lawyer can be expensive. If you are trying to save money, but still want extra help, you have options.
Tomorrow is an estate planning app where users can create a legal will for free. Founded in 2016, Tomorrow pulled together 52 lawyers from across the country to create a seamless process for creating a will.
Available to use on your computer or through their mobile app (iOS and Android), Tomorrow walks you through simple questions to craft a legal will. They factor in specific state laws too. It provides a way for you to protect your family for free.
Tomorrow also offers an upgraded account called Tomorrow Plus that provides services like a living trust and other premium upgrades. You can also purchase life insurance through Tomorrow.
Fabric allows you to create a legally binding will in as little as 5 minutes. They believe that every family deserves a secure financial future and that creating a will is a step in that direction.
Fabric allows you to perform tasks like appointing a guardian, choosing an executor, naming a beneficiary, and more. They walk you through an easy step-by-step process until you have finished your will.
Fabric also offers families life insurance options as a paid premium service. There’s no requirement to buy insurance to use their free will service.
Trust & Will
Trust & Will allows people to create a legally valid estate plan online in just 10 minutes.
Through their service, a will-based estate plan includes:
- A Last Will & Testament
- HIPAA Authorization
- A Living Will
This estate plan costs $69 and is guaranteed to be legally valid.
US Legal Forms
US Legal Forms has helped over 3 million customers create legally binding forms, including wills. They offer forms for complete estate planning coverage. This includes Mutual Wills, Last Will and Testament, Living Will, Living Trust, and more.
US Legal Forms offers Preparation or Completion services for all of their forms. They also have state-specific template forms for sale. Forms can be downloaded instantly onto your computer or mailed to you.
Get a Will Today
Creating a will is an important step in estate planning for any family. It doesn’t have to be complicated, though. It’s possible to create a DIY will that is legally binding. If you need help, there are ways to create a will for free that will give you and your family peace of mind.