Tuesday, December 6, 2016

If I'm Not Elderly, Why Do I Need a Will?

Written by Sagan L. Carman-Downer

It has been my experience that when most people think about their will, they think about how they want their property distributed upon their passing. And while this is certainly an important portion of a will, some people may be surprised to learn that a will can provide additional information and/or instructions to help ease the burden on their loved ones.

When speaking with younger individuals or couples just starting to build their family and careers, I often find that they believe they don’t need a will because they haven’t accumulated a significant amount of assets. Your will, though, can be beneficial in addressing additional concerns; some of which are outlined below.

1.    A Guardian for Your Children. Should you have minor children at your passing, your will can make your wishes known as to whom you would like to care for and raise your children. This is a decision that deserves a great deal of thought and consideration, but making your wishes known can help your loved ones during a difficult time.

2.    A Personal Representative to Manage Your Estate. Your estate may be required to be administered through a process involving a state court, typically known as probate. This is where your debts will be paid, and your assets will be distributed to your beneficiaries. In your will, you can nominate someone to manage this process, known in Nebraska as a Personal Representative, or in other states as an Executor. It can be important to select someone you trust to take a position that will have such a high level of responsibility.

3.    Distribution of Assets to Minors. States often have specific rules and restrictions on how assets can be given to minors. If there is a possibility that your assets will pass to a minor, your will can address these rules and restrictions, and specify how you wish for those assets to be distributed.

4.    Visitation, Funeral & Burial Services. In a time where less traditional arrangements for after-life services, like more informal celebrations of life and cremation, are becoming more commonplace, your will can provide your wishes to your loved ones to ensure that those wishes are carried out.

These are just a few of the additional concerns that can be addressed in your will. To make sure that these, and your other wishes are included in your will, it is best to speak with an attorney to discuss your options in greater detail.

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