Do you need a will? Most likely the answer is YES! Wills are not just for the financially wealthy. Regardless of how much or how little money you have, a will can ensure that whatever personal belongings and assets you do have go to family or the beneficiaries you designate. If you own a business, a will can help ensure a smooth legal transition of those assets.
If you have any minor children, having a will can ensure that you choose your children's legal guardian should you pass before your children are of legal adult age.
Through a will, you can also name an executor. An executor should be a person or financial institution you trust to ensure that your wishes are carried out and all of your affairs are in order, from paying bills to canceling credit cards. If you do not name an executor, your heirs will have to ask a court to appoint an administrator. Usually, it will appoint your surviving spouse or a child, but his may cause tension that can easily be avoidable by naming an executor.
Without a will, a court makes decisions on your behalf. Few people plan to die in the near future, but if you die suddenly without a will, you will most likely subject your family and loved ones to unnecessary confusion and anxiety at what is already a difficult time.
How Do You Get Started?
At a minimum, your will should cover the following: appoint a guardian if you have minor children, appoint an executor to administer your will when you die, and spell out specifically how you want your property distributed.
The first step in deciding how you want your property distributed is gathering information. Along with information on your chosen executor, you'll need the names, addresses and birth dates for anyone named is your will such as children, spouse, proposed guardians, and other beneficiaries.
You will also need to keep record of amounts of all debts, including mortgages, loans, and credit card accounts as well as assets including real estate, financial accounts, personal property, and life insurance.
Of course, you should also keep copies of existing wills, trusts, divorce decrees, prenuptial agreements and any other legal documents that might affect your will.
As life changes, it is also best to revisit your will periodically or upon certain major life events to ensure that your will still reflects your desires. Last, but not least, a will won't be any good if nobody knows how to find it. Make sure your family members and your executor know where your will is kept.
Queensborough stands ready to work with you, your advisers, your attorney, and accountant to navigate the sometimes complicated process of estate planning and settlement. As part of our wealth management services, we are pleased to offer our Family Care Kit. This free tool is designed to help you organize your financial assets. By printing and completing our downloadable version, you can provide your loved ones with the peace of mind knowing they have the information needed to handle your financial assets according to your wishes should anything happen to you.
For more information, go to www.QNBTRUST.bank/Wealth-Management