You’ve likely heard the old adage: “Where there is a Will there is a way.” I’m not sure it has anything to do with Last Will and Testament but it can certainly could. There is a great deal to consider when making my will…yours too! As a matter of keeping things in order I mention it first. As a matter of being well prepared, to have it prepared, you might delve into the ‘supporting’ considerations first. If you don’t have a current will then you should.
When crafting your will, here are a few things to consider:
- Your Executor. Find an unbiased third party to minimize any possible in fighting.
- Life insurance. Many life insurance policies can be executed outside the confines of a will. Get expert advice on how to best set up your beneficiaries and payouts.
- Taxes. Yes, you might be dead, but the taxman will still come a knocking. Get expert advice on how to best marginalize the tax implications to your estate.
- Equity. If you have multiples of children, siblings, spouses, or the like, you will want to ensure equity so as to minimize in fighting.
- Guardianship. Have you clearly outlined your children’s God parents, or other alternatives in the event of your death?
What if you don’t die?
Yes, there are thousands of scenarios where you could be very much alive, but left powerless to execute your wishes, including disability, coma, critical illness, or incapacitation. In this event, you want to ensure you have addressed some other profoundly important legal documents as a contingency, including:
- Power of Attorney
- Do Not Resuscitate or other medical directives
- Living wills
- Organ donation
- Funeral arrangements
In either case, living or dead, you need to be clear on your wishes and don’t assume that people will know what you want. Clearly outline what you want and ensure you have supporting documentation to back it up.