We often wrongly assume we’re too young or don’t have enough assets to require a will. In fact, it’s wise for all of us to prepare a will because it ensures an easier transition for our survivors in the event of our death. We can never know for sure when we’ll die, and our loss will create a difficult, emotional time for our survivors. Having a will in place removes significant additional stress for our loved ones, making things smoother, easier, and less expensive for them.
What does a will do for you and those you care about?
Your will is your careful plan and set of directions to guide your loved ones in the event of your death.
- When you die, your will dictates:
- The person you have chosen to be in charge of wrapping up your affairs. This chosen person is called the executor of your will. If you have no will, a court will decide who will take care of your affairs, and it may not be a person you would want in that position.
- The people you choose to inherit your property, assets, and belongings
- The person or people you choose to care for your minor children
- The person or people you choose to care for your pets
- How you would like your digital assets to be handled and the person you choose to execute this
- Any charities you’d like to make a gift to and what that gift should be
- Your wishes for your body and funeral
- Any other final desires you may have
What happens if you die without a will?
- If you die without a will in place:
- your estate can become tied up in the process of probate for years
- Your loved ones may lose more of their inheritance to the cost of probate
- The court, not you, will decide how your assets and possessions are allocated
- The court, not you, will decide who administers your remaining affairs
- The court, not you, will decide who will be the guardian of your minor children or pets
- loved ones may have conflict over the assets you leave behind or who should administer your affairs
How does having a will help your loved ones?
- Having a will in place:
- Makes your wishes clear to your loved ones, saving them from the stress of trying to make decisions for you and your estate after you’ve passed
- Prevents potential disputes between your loved ones over who should administer your estate or who should inherit your various assets and possessions
- Saves your loved ones from long, expensive, burdensome proceedings with a state probate court
How can you receive help in designing and creating your will?
There are various websites that will draft a will and other estate documents for free. However, we, as attorneys at McQuillan & Hohman Law, LLC., do not recommend these services because they may omit essential components of planning and estate documents, leaving aspects of your wishes unspecified and potentially causing future difficulty for your survivors. It’s important to obtain legal counsel when creating your estate plan to ensure that it is done thoroughly, comprehensively, and to your specifications.
Specializing in Alaska and Montana estate planning, McQuillan & Hohman Law, LLC. is dedicated to helping you draft your will and other estate planning documents to ensure that your loved ones are protected and that your wishes for your affairs and property are fulfilled according to your dictates. If you need assistance in creating your estate plan, contact us
*Your entire estate plan includes more than a will
Your will is just one component of your whole estate plan. Typically, an estate plan includes a will, a power of attorney, an advance health care directive and, occasionally, a trust. All of these documents together form a plan for the end of a person’s life. What do these elements accomplish for you?
- The power of attorney dictates who will manage your money and any legal decisions that need to be made for you if you are unable to make these decisions yourself.
- An advance health care directive dictates who will make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make them yourself.
- A will dictates your choices about who should receive your estate after you pass and any other final wishes and desires you may have.
- A trust creates a protected space for all your assets until your death.
McQuillan & Hohman Law, LLC. cares about you and your loved ones and can be trusted to help you navigate the process of carefully designing and crafting your entire estate plan, tailor made to ensure your wishes are manifested as planned after your death. Contact us for help with your estate planning