Why Do I Need A Will? - MWBoone Video Library

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Why Do I Need A Will?

Mwboone & Associates (Bellevue, WA), Certified Financial Planners, Wealth and Investment Management
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A will is a legal document that defines who is going to take care of your children, and outlines what to do with your assets when you're gone. If you die without a will, the state will decide who will inherit what you once owned. A will allows you -- not the government -- to control your assets after your death. If you need a will, here's what's involved:

When you do your will, do it right. Work with a lawyer to make sure your will is structured properly to be valid and enforceable. If your children are minors, name a guardian for your kids. Your trustee will follow the instructions in your will on how you want your assets provided to your children and their guardian. Make a list of all your assets and where they are. Determine the values of your real estate, insurance policies, investments, business ownerships, personal possessions, and anything else that has economic or sentimental value to you or your family. You decide who will receive these assets, and when. Typically, your surviving spouse will be your primary beneficiary. You provide instructions on how and when to distribute assets to your children, grandchildren, and the charities of your choice. You appoint an executor, or trustee, to oversee and carry out your instructions in your will. You can grant the "power of attorney" to someone you trust to make healthcare and financial decisions if you are not able to make these decisions yourself. This "living will" provides a roadmap to your heirs and your doctors on how you wish your healthcare and end-of-life decisions to be managed.

There are so many reasons why wills are important. Work with your trusted advisor and an estate attorney to write your will. Then, update it every three years to make sure it fits your present situation and conforms to current state laws. That way, you know your family, your loved ones, and your assets, are all protected.

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