1. Save time, money, and stress for a family or heirs.
Almost all estates must go to the probate court to begin the judicial process overseeing the distribution of wealth. But if you don't have a will, the court process -- known as executorship - can get particularly complicated.
Without a will, the court must appoint an executor. And that can be time-consuming, expensive, and even controversial for your loved ones. One of the main reasons for making a will is to streamline this court process. If you have a will, you can choose who will manage your estate, making it easier for your loved ones.
2. Determine the executor of your estate.
Deciding who administers your estate is a good reason to have a will. When you write a will, you become a 'testator' and have the option to appoint an 'executor'. This is the person responsible for handling all your affairs.
Being an executor is an important job. Their duties can include anything from closing bank accounts to liquidating assets. Therefore, choose someone who is able and who you trust to carry out these activities. If you don't choose an executor in your will, the court will choose one for you - and it may not be the person you want.
3. Determine who gets your assets and property — and who won't.
Most people know that making a will gives them the power to decide who gets their property. As a testator, you can designate individuals as beneficiaries of certain assets. You can also name beneficiaries for any property you don't list - the "remnant" of your estate. When your executor processes your will, he or she is responsible for distributing those assets.
You may not know that you can also use a will to ensure that some people receive nothing. For example, you may want to prevent an ex-spouse from receiving an inheritance. Or if one child has received your support through school, you may want to make sure a second child gets their fair share as well.
4. Determine who and how your children will be taken care of.
As a parent, you can appoint a guardian for your minor children in your will. When a parent dies, the surviving parent usually has sole custody. But when both parents pass, this is one of the top reasons to have a will.
A guardian is responsible for all of your children's daily needs, including food, shelter, health care, education, and clothing. And if you don't name a guardian in your will, a court must choose one for you. This could mean that someone you would not have chosen will raise your children.
5. Provide for your pets.
Owning a pet is a good reason to have a will. A will allows you to ensure that someone will take care of your pet after your death. The law considers a pet property, so you cannot leave your pet a fortune in your will. However, you can name a beneficiary for your pet and leave it to a trusted friend or family member. You can ask this person to act as your pet caretaker or guardian and even leave them money to care for your pet.
6. Remove the opportunity for family disputes.
If you have complicated family dynamics, there's a good reason to have a will. If you die without a will, your family will have to guess what your last wish was. And chances are, they don't always agree. This ambiguity can cause friction and even fights that sometimes last a lifetime. Making a will solves the problem by taking the guesswork out.
7. Donate to a cause or charity of your choice.
Many people want to leave a positive impact on the world after they die. And a great way to do that is by supporting the charities or causes you love the most. Writing a will allows you to preserve your legacy by donating a portion of your estate to a charitable organization. When you use FreeWill to create your will, it's very simple. Our tool allows you to select your preferred concerns with just a few clicks.
8. Create funeral directives.
Maybe you don't want to think about your own funeral. But if you think about it now and leave instructions with your will, you can ease the burden on your loved ones after you die. Although these instructions are not legally binding, they can provide guidance to your executors and loved ones as to what you want. When you add instructions, you can designate a funeral director to manage the process, make suggestions for the service and location, make requests for your final resting place, and more.
9. Creating a will is a simple process with the right help.
Some people put off making or updating their will because they assume their loved ones will automatically receive an inheritance. But that's not always true. Inheritance can be a long and expensive process for your heirs. Also, a will only deal with your current circumstances. You should update it over time as your needs and the people in your life change.
Creating or updating your will is a great way to take care of your loved ones and give them a simple card to follow after you die. This gives many people security and is, therefore, one of the most important reasons for having a will.
With the help of our paralegal team, it's easier than ever to make a will.
What is probate?
A Paralegal can not give legal advice or go to court and advocate for you the same way a trust attorney will. However, the cost for a paralegal is usually less than an attorney.
CA Paralegal Services Creates and Manages Multiple Types of Wills
Despite the name, a living will is not actually a will. Rather, it is a legal document that allows you to state your preferences for end-of-life care if you are no longer able to communicate them. For example, your living will come into effect if you remain critically injured and unconscious.
In a living will you can state which medical treatments and medication you want, which you do not want, and whether you want to become an organ donor. This will help you stay in control of your own health care and avoid burdening your loved ones with potentially painful or difficult decisions.
This will can also be referred to as: Advanced Healthcare Directive
A simple will is a basic last will. In it you state to whom you want to leave your property and assets after your death.
Here's what to include in a simple will:
Don't underestimate the power of a simple will! Despite its name, this type of will covers a lot of ground and is sufficient for most people without complicated estates.
Mirror wills are identical wills made by a married couple or civil partners. In this type of will, each partner leaves all of their assets to the other. Each of them also names the same people and organizations as secondary beneficiaries of their property. This helps the couple ensure their partner's financial security first before passing the estate on to their heirs.
Like mirror wills, joint wills are made by a married couple to ensure the partner's financial security. But unlike mirror wills, this will is a single document that the couple creates and signs together. The single will combines the wishes of both partners in the same document and cannot be changed without their consent. This means that after the death of one partner, the surviving partner cannot change the terms of the joint will or who receives their property.
Since a joint will cannot be changed after the death of a partner, most probate attorneys suggest making a mirror will instead.
Pour-over wills are used alongside a living trust. They state that any assets of the executor not named in the trust should be transferred to the trust once the executor dies. One of the advantages of a living trust is that the assets in the trust avoid the expense and time involved in a probate court. However, any assets not in your trust at your death must go through the probate court before they can be transferred to the trust - even with a pour-over will.