A will is something that every adult needs to have -- especially if they have children -- though sometimes it may seem hard to talk or think about. However, before you go running off to your Los Angeles estate litigation attorney, there are some things you'll need to consider when preparing a will.
Take a Look at Your Assets
If you have money, property, or bank accounts that are solely yours, and not joint assets, then these things should be placed in the will. Also, if you own valuable items like furniture or jewelry, or things of sentimental value that you want to give to a particular person, that intention should be stated in the will, as well.
Select a Guardian for Your Children
The thought of not being around to raise your children is hard but, in the event of your death while your children are still under the age of eighteen, a guardian needs to be appointed. If one is not selected, the courts will step in and make the decision and the person may not be someone you would have chosen. When considering who to name as a guardian, consider the candidates' family values, their relationship with your child, their financial status, their parenting skills, and whether or not they would be willing to take on such a responsibility in the first place.
Select an Executor
An executor is someone who will carry out your will and handle all your business and financial matters after your death, including the final paperwork, making sure all bills are paid using money from your estate, and distributing the remaining funds to its recipients. More than one executor is usually named on the will, and it is entirely up to you whether or not you want to name relatives or have a Los Angeles estate litigation attorney fill this role.
Decide if You Want a Trust
A trust is often created when the person drawing up the will has minors in his or her care (such as children). A trust is basically a legal arrangement where assets such as money, property, or jewelry are held and managed by the trustees on behalf of the beneficiaries until they reach a certain age. Keep in mind that here too, you need to select someone to act as the trustee to manage the assets and it can be more than one person.
Setting up a will isn't a difficult task, just as long as you've given a few things some serious thought before going to an attorney to have them put in writing. It's always best to have a will in place just in case, so that family and loved ones have a guide and instructions to follow. It removes the guesswork and hopefully any arguments, too.