Creating a last will may seem like a basic process, but there are actually many factors that can influence the best way to handle the creation of your legacy. While there are plenty of last will document templates available online, creating a unique document that carefully describes your wishes and assets can be much more beneficial than using a boilerplate document.
When you plan your legacy by drafting a last will, there are certain factors you should absolutely consider. The more you think about your circumstances, the easier it will be to create a thorough and reasonable estate plan for your family.
Who depends on you for financial support?
Different people have different familial and financial obligations. Perhaps you are married, and your spouse stays home to take care of the children. You have to consider the financial needs of your spouse, as well as those of your kids, when drafting your last will and deciding the best way to split up your possessions.
You may not have a spouse but instead take care of your elderly parents or a sibling with special needs who can’t work a job and provide their own income. It’s important to really consider the people who depend on you and the best ways that you can provide for and support after your death. Having someone help you explore those relationships and guide you in the creation of the right language to protect those you love is invaluable during estate planning.
Will your assets outweigh your liabilities?
Depending on your financial circumstances, it’s possible that you may have debts that have to be repaid at the time of your death. Making sure that you have adequate life insurance is of the utmost importance, especially if you hope to leave something behind for the people you love.
Without proper planning, your intended legacy might wind up spent almost exclusively to repay creditors upon your death. Life insurance and careful investments or planning with financial assets can help ensure that you leave something behind for the people you care about.
Do you have reason to worry about your family fighting over your assets?
If you have adult children who have squabbled their entire life, that likely won’t stop when you die. If you have children with your ex who have never been supportive of your spouse when you remarried, they could challenge the inheritance that you leave to your spouse.
You may need to take extra steps, such as the inclusion of a no-contest clause, in order to make sure that people follow your wishes and don’t needlessly fight or challenge your will for personal gain.
Everyone has their own unique circumstances, and you really should spend some time thinking about yours in order to ensure that your estate plan reflects your needs, wishes and family circumstances.