While many people put off the writing of their wills for years, until they start getting older, it's actually extremely important to have a will written as soon as you begin building assets as an adult.
It is also imperative to have it written if you have minor children of any age because leaving the possible custody of your children up to chance rather than specifying your wishes for their care can make a difficult time even more difficult in the event of your untimely death.
At Monahan Law Firm, our Glendale will lawyers have the necessary experience to help you create and customize the perfect plan for your estate. We are passionate about helping our clients with estate planning, no matter what your needs or wishes are.
What Can Be Covered By a Will?
There is not much that cannot be covered by your will, which makes it much easier to list what cannot be included, over what can be. The three basic things that you cannot include in a will are as follows:
- Stipulations requiring marriage
- Stipulations requiring divorce
- Stipulations requiring a change in religion
You cannot legally include any of these three stipulations in your will as requirements for someone to receive their inheritance. If any of these stipulations are included in your will they cannot be upheld in court and therefore the person these stipulations have been placed on will still receive any inheritance left to them regardless of the stipulations.
Some important items that can be included in your will include custody of any minor children or adult dependents in your household, the creation of living trusts from your estate, and even your wishes for your funeral, or lack thereof if you do not wish to have a funeral.
Why You Should Have a Will Drafted
There are many reasons why having a will is important. For those who have minor children or dependent adults in their care, who will need to be placed in another person's care following an untimely death, putting instructions for custody and care can help cultivate an easier transfer of custody or care, instead of minor or adult dependents being stuck in limbo while the family court decides who's care they will reside in.
This can be extremely helpful in cases involving minor children, as it is traumatizing enough to lose a parent, and even more traumatizing should those minor children be taken away by the state and placed in foster care until their custody is decided by the courts.
While having a properly written and notarized will doesn't stop all of the arguments that can occur between beneficiaries in the event of your death, it does cut down on a lot of the fighting. This is especially beneficial if your final wishes for your estate may upset family or friends, such as choosing to leave your entire estate to a single person, or if you have chosen to leave your estate to a charitable organization.
The most important reason to have a will written, however, is extremely simple: You have a right to decide what happens to your estate upon your death, and you also have a right to decide what happens to you. Having a will can help ensure that your funeral is carried out exactly how you wish, and that your estate is handled exactly how you want.
Why You Should Have Legal Help When Planning a Will
What many people don't know is that your will can be contested by anyone who feels slighted or cheated by what you've left them. This is why it's important to have a legally written, signed, and filed will. While it's extremely hard to overturn a will that has been written by your legal representation, stamped by a notary, and filed legally, it is extremely easy to overthrow a will that you simply wrote down and kept in a safe, for example.
While you may feel that your family and friends will respect a handwritten will, having correctly written legal documents stating your exact wishes is always the best idea to avoid probate disputes after your death.
Having an attorney help with your will also has an additional benefit: the price you are charged by the attorney for writing your will normally has a built-in fee, paying your attorney to act as the executor of your estate upon your passing. This means that the same probate attorney that helped you write your will is the exact same person who will be in charge of making sure your wishes are carried out correctly, and in a timely manner.
Don't Wait Until It's Too Late
When we leave our family and friends behind, we all wish to do it in the most peaceful and easy way possible, and that applies to your estate as well. Leaving behind a precise and detailed will is one of the easiest ways to make an extremely hard time just a little bit less hard for those you leave behind.
If you're ready to begin estate planning, the Monahan Law Firm is ready to help you begin the process. Our team of Glendale estate planning lawyers is extremely experienced in estate planning law, the probate process, paying estate taxes, transferring real estate, and even creating living wills or establishing power of attorney if you are experiencing health issues and need to name someone to control your medical decisions when you no longer can.
No matter your needs, Monahan Law Firm can help. Call today for a consultation, and let us help you live the rest of your life with the peace of mind that your wishes will be respected after your death.