Facts regarding a Last Will & Testament

clock "Help ease the burden of your passing for your executor..."

Some Facts You Should Know

Why should I have a will if I don't own much?
  • If you die without a will, you can not choose the executor of your estate, your beneficiaries, or a guardian for your minor children. Without a will, the state will decide for you. Your friends and family will be suffering enough. Make your transition easier for everyone by eliminating the "guesswork" for your executor and heirs.
  • The Estate Research Institute estimates that up to 70% of a deceased person's assets will never reach their heirs after all the taxes and fees are deducted from the estate. Plan ahead. Don't let this happen to your heirs.
  • If your estate goes into Probate, it will likely be tied up in expensive Probate proceedings for years.
  • In your will, you can state who your want your underage children to live with if you were to pass away before they reached 18.
  • Buying will forms and filling them out is not enough. In most states, your completed forms must be notarized in front of witnesses to be valid. This is why we recommend you buy forms WITH instructions (a kit, book, or software program).
  • An executor is a person or institution of your choice, named in your will, that collects and manages your assets, pays your final expenses and any taxes that you might owe, and, in a manner approved by the court, distributes your assets to your beneficiaries in accordance with the provisions of your will. Your executor plays a very important role with significant responsibilities. It can be a time-consuming job. You should choose your executor carefully.
  • The location of your original will should be known by your executor and other close friends or relatives. Your will should be kept in a safe place such as your safe deposit box, a safe, or a fireproof box at your residence.
  • In addition to a will and other "final documents" (such as a Power of Attorney, Living Will, or Living Trust), it is also helpful if you leave a list of all your property and debts, your personal and financial records, and a list of your account names and numbers. It is helpful to include the locations of these items as well (such as "Birth Certificate downstairs closet in a wooden box, Old Tax Returns: downstairs closet in an expandable file folder"). This list will help your executor find the things s/he will need in order to administer your estate. .

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