Death is a subject that many people don’t prefer to think about, but it’s important to have a plan for your last wishes and needs if you are involved in an accident or are diagnosed with a terminal disease. Leaving the decision-making process to your family after you’re deceased will only add to their grief and stress level, and can cause serious issues, arguments, and disagreements for many months or years following your death. It’s never too early to think about your will and last wishes, so in this post, we’ll discuss some common questions that many individuals have about a will. At Brian Loomis Law, I understand how important it is to ensure that your family, children, and property are considered in your estate plan and end-of-life wishes, so I can help you create the documents that are needed for peace of mind and security. If you’re in need of a will, estate plan, or trust, contact me today. I’m here to help you!
When Do I Need a Will?
Many lawyers say that most individuals need to form a will if they are married or going to be married, own property, or are having your first child. However, it’s never too early to create a document that details your wishes and requirements if you do happen to die suddenly, so it may be in your best interested, as well as your family’s, to create one. As you accumulate more valuable possessions, family, or money, you can continuously add to it to reflect those changes. If you don’t have a will and die suddenly, all of your possessions and property will be divided up according to law and to settle any and all debts that you may have. If you prefer to have sums of money or possessions to go to certain family members, it’s crucial to specify these choices in a will.
Can I Write a Will Myself?
Individuals choose to do this, mainly because they want to save on lawyer’s fees and will-writing seems like a simple process. There are many different software options and will templates that can be downloaded off of the internet, but an online form won’t keep you from making errors or mistakes in your writing process that could seriously affect your family after your passing. If you’re set on giving your restored vintage car to your nephew and your diamond necklace to your sister, it’s best to have a lawyer who has experience in writing wills to assist you. Not only will he or she help you write your wishes and requirements, but an experienced lawyer will help you consider and remember items or specifications that you may not have even thought of if you wrote your own. Further, a written will that hasn’t been evaluated by a lawyer may not hold up in court and cause everything that you owned to go into probate. It’s best, for your peace of mind and your family’s, to leave the legal writing up to the experts.
Do I Need Other Documents Other Than a Will?
Many lawyers recommend a medical power of attorney to accompany your will. This document lays out your medical preferences and decisions that you have decided upon in case you’re involved in a serious accident, are in the hospital for a surgery, or are diagnosed with a terminal illness. This document is especially important if you don’t live close to family or have no living relatives, and if you hold certain medical or religious beliefs. If you don’t have a medical power of attorney, then all medical decisions are left up to the next of kin or a doctor. Everyone needs this document, especially as you grow older and/or have children.
Where Do I Keep My Will?
It’s best to have multiple copies stored in different places. Many people keep a copy in their home safe or bank lock box, another copy store on their computer protected under a password, and allow their lawyer to also hold onto one. This will ensure that it can always be accessed if needed. If you’re interested in being extremely proactive, you can distribute a few copies to close family members, such as your children or spouse. However, as the will is updated and amended, it is important to update these copies as well to ensure that everyone has the most recent edition. It would make for a confusing time if different sources owned different versions.
Will planning and writing is difficult for most people, but it’s an important document to have, especially as you age and journey through life. If you’re in need of a lawyer who can help you to draw up and write your will, contact Brian Loomis Law. Brian will help you to plan your estate and offer expert legal advice on how to plan for the future. Contact him today to set up an appointment.