Once you're gone, you wouldn't want the wealth you have left behind to be the source of wrangles and animosity among your family members or loved ones. If you don't write a will to settle all matters regarding the distribution of your wealth upon your demise, you may leave behind a divided family, with potential heirs fighting one another over who is entitled to a share of your estate. Hence, it is important that you write a will, and a legally valid one for that matter.
Like many other people, you may wonder about the best time to put down your last wishes. As long you've come of age, you can prepare your will any time you like. However, assessing your personal situation first can go a long way in ensuring you make a will that hopefully leaves everyone you care about happy. Remember, even a legally valid will can be challenged in a probate court if a rightful heir feels left out by the terms of the document.
With that said, here are a number of important aspects to consider when it is time to make your will.
Who has a legal right to get a share of your wealth?
Knowing who your rightful heirs are is vital to ensuring you include the right people in your will. If you are married, your property should naturally go to your spouse and children. If you are unmarried, your living parents are probably the most likely beneficiaries of your wealth. The best way to identify your rightful heirs is to ask yourself: who will be entitled to a part or all my estate if I die without making a will? Your local state probate laws have the answer to this question, so you should find out what they stipulate to avoid the likelihood of someone contesting your will.
What is inheritable?
Many people fail to include all their inheritable assets in their will because they don't know which assets are covered by wills and which aren't. Your will can include everything from small items such as personal jewellery to real property like your main home. When making your will, make sure to include all assets that can be legally transferred to your heirs. Most importantly, make sure to update the document as your wealth increases or decreases.
If you carefully consider the above factors when drafting your will, you will have a better chance of leaving your loved ones in good hands when you pass on. Contact a wills and estates lawyer for additional advice.