A majority of people find it uncomfortable and distressing when thinking about the day they pass on and what will become of their personal belongings. In fact, several recent studies show that a significant portion of Americans currently have no last will and testament. The process of formulating a will is not as grueling as many perceive it to be. If anything, it can be rather easy, so long as it is done with the help of proper legal guidance. The following simple steps highlighted below will show you just how stress-free the process can be.
The Importance of a Will
The first step is to understand the importance of having a will. Topics such as how your assets will be divided and whom they will go to are only two factors that you should consider during the drafting process. Without a will, the state will take it upon itself to distribute your assets for you. This means that a certain family member may receive a certain item meant for someone else. A will is doubly important as it is also a way to appoint guardianship of minors.
The second step is to take inventory of any and all assets. Create a list of any investments, savings, and insurance policies you may have. None should be overlooked and every minute detail is important. Once your list is complete, you can move on to the third step, which is to hire an attorney to draft your will and draw up any other necessary documents. Doing so will ensure that your interests are secured, even after you have passed.
Executor, Power of Attorney, and Healthcare Power of Attorney
The fourth step involves naming the person in charge of distributing your property, known as an executor. Ensure that this person is someone you trust and is capable of handling the responsibility. Your fifth step is to assign a power of attorney. Take special care when selecting this person as they will be responsible for keeping your best financial interests in mind in the unfortunate event that you have become incapacitated.
Creating a living will, also known as an advance medical directive, should follow as the sixth step. A living will states your wishes about whether or not you wish to receive the assistance of life support if you have suffered a debilitating medical ailment. The seventh step is to assign a health care power of attorney. This person will enforce health care directives if you are unable to communicate due to your condition.
Update, Communicate, and Consider Establishing a Trust
The eighth step calls for updating your will at least once a year. Major life events or changes such as marriages, divorces, deaths or births warrant renewal so that your will is up-to-date. The ninth step is to communicate and discuss your plans with family, friends, and loved ones to avoid any potential problems or confusion. Your last and final step is to determine whether a trust is necessary. Trusts allow conditions to be placed on your assets as well as highlighting how said assets should be distributed.
Entrust Us to Take Care of Things
The process of executing a will and any other related documents should not be complicated. A member of our probate legal team can help you utilize the tools available to make drafting your will and any other necessary documents less stressful. Know that in McAllen, you have a trusted source to take care of your probate matters.