Wills and Estates
Being Prepared: For You and Your Family
A will is a document that directs how you want your assets distributed when you die. Assets can include real estate, money, investments and personal belongings. Often people have ideas of how they wish or do not wish for these items to be distributed, and a will assists in enacting those preferences.
Wills can be changed at any time and are not in effect until your death. Decisions you make today may be different from those you choose 20 years from now, and a will is easily adjusted to reflect your changing needs. The needs of a will change when you become married, have children, accumulate possessions, have grandchildren and as investments some due. Mr. Bradley recommends reviewing your will every five years to ensure it still contains the direction you prefer, and to ensure you are taking advantage of tax opportunities that may become available.
The will is the most common part of the Estate Planning. In addition to directing your assets in the most appropriate fashion, there is also a need to make plans for guardianship of children, charitable gifts, Power of Attorney and choosing an executor. A meeting with Mr. Bradley will help with more information on Estate Planning, though we have provided some information in advance here.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a document that protects you and your possessions in the event that you are not able to make decisions in a coherent manner. Whether by injury or disease, this can sometimes occur without notice. The Power of Attorney is an impactful individual in your life, and significant thought should be put into choosing the appropriate person for this role.
The Executor is the individual who is going to manage the wishes in your will and distribute your Estate as per your preferences. It may be difficult for a close family member to perform this task due to grief, geographical proximity and other matters. You may change your Executor as circumstances change in your life.
Establishing an Estate Plan is Encouraged
In addition to handling the grief of losing you, your family can be in further turmoil if you have not created a will and estate plan. These legal documents help manage outcomes in a stressful situation, and ensure no surprises in terms of tax and asset issues from a will not being determined in advance.
You are always better to have a will than to not have one at any stage of your life.