In a 2016 report, researchers found that only 28.4% of Americans had wills that were up-to-date. About 8.6 percent had wills but they were not updated while a staggering 63 percent had no written will.
Many people, if not all, associate wills with death, and the latter is not always a pleasant topic to discuss. If you want to have a say in the distribution of your wealth when you die, the time to do it is when you’re still around. If you’re planning to write your first draft soon, here are some things you need to know about this legal document:
1. First of all, it is a legal document.
Your will’s legality will live on even after you have passed. This takes place through a process called probate, where the will is proved either valid or invalid by a probate court. If you lived in Denver, your estate will be handled by a probate attorney.
2. You decide how to distribute your wealth in your will.
A will states how you want to distribute your worldly possessions. It could be as simple as the cash you have in your bank accounts or a collection of valuable sentimental possessions such as photographs and pre-loved items. It could also be a complex as a list of expensive items such as vacation homes and other real estate properties, vehicles, and businesses.
3. You can write it on your own.
A handwritten will is called a holograph and it is often considered valid in a probate court. There are also kits that provide people with a fill-in-the-blanks template. While this can often give the family a guide on how to execute the will, there can be complications when it is submitted to the probate court. The best option would be to hire a lawyer to help you draw up a will.
When a person dies without a will, it can create conflict among the family members when it comes to the distribution of wealth. This is why it’s important to create one as early as possible. Remember, you can always update your will if you have changes that you want to make.