No one likes to think about the end of their lives, but for the sake of those you love, sometimes you need to answer these uncomfortable questions. Your last will and testament is there to protect your assets once you have passed on. It is designed to make sure that your wishes are followed through. A last will and testament is also there for the people you love, to ease difficulty during that mourning process and for much time when you have passed on. Many people, especially younger people, have never thought about making a last will and testament. While it might not be pressing on your mind, it is a good idea for everybody to think about it as life is fragile and surprising.
What Is a Last Will and Testament?
A last will and testament is effectively somebody’s wishes about what they want to be done with their assets and dependents when they have died written in a legal format so it can be supported and enforced in courts. It tells those left behind what they should do with the deceased’s possessions, which are typically left to other people or organizations. There are different wills available, but their legality depends on their area. For example, some states allow a holographic will.
What Information Is Included in a Last Will and Testament?
The Last Will and Testament tends to start by declaring that the document is the Last Will and Testament of the person making the document. It then typically outlines who the executor is – the person who has to file the will in court, where it will be accepted as an official document. The executor is then given permission to act on the Will through a document called a Grant of Probate. The rest of the Last Will and Testament then goes on to describe the distribution of an estate. This can simply be passing on possessions and assets to one individual or a range of individuals or organizations. It can outline which amounts go to which beneficiaries. Will and Testaments will cover possible ‘what-if’ contingencies, like what happens to your estate if the main beneficiary of your Will passes away.
What Is a Living Will?
A Living Will is a type of will that informs those close to you what your choices are about the medical treatment that you may receive at the end of your life. It helps to let people know which procedures or even medicines you want and don’t want in the event that you cannot talk to doctors yourself, whether your illness is severe or you are simply under anesthesia for a surgery. Your Living Will is also likely to make clear your lasting powers of attorney. These are a specific form of power of attorney which legally appoints somebody to be able to make decisions for you when you cannot do so yourself.
Do I Need a Last Will and Testament?
Everybody should have a Last Will and Testament. If you die without one, your estate will have to be resolved in accordance with standard rules, which rarely make your loved ones happy and can lead to arguing. Dying without a will also takes away your opportunity to leave any of your money to charitable donations.