For most people, creating a will should be relatively simple. The process doesn’t take long, and sitting down to do it is the most important thing. Below are a few estate planning tips for Hawaiians.
Think About the Small Things
Wills aren’t required for most large assets. Jointly held assets such as bank accounts and homes automatically go to the other holder. Life insurance policies and retirement accounts already have named beneficiaries. However, if there are singly held accounts or property to consider, those would pass through probate unless otherwise specified in a trust. Another good reason to have a will is to ensure that sentimental items go to the intended people. With a proper will, testators make it easier on survivors and reduce family fights.
Name a Guardian
If there are children under the age of 18, a will is crucial because it names a legal guardian. If a person has no will with a chosen guardian, and the unthinkable happens, the court decides who takes the children. Many people have trouble choosing a guardian, but it’s important for parents to address this issue while they’re still around.
Select an Executor
An executor is a person who implements the provisions in a will. They handle everything after a testator’s death, such as paying debts and taxes, closing accounts, and distributing property according to the will. While it’s not necessary to choose a financial expert, it’s important to choose someone who’s organized, fair, firm, and honest. Most choose a family member, but some use a lawyer.
Create an Advanced Directive
Living wills, which are sometimes referred to as advanced directives, govern a person’s wishes at the end of life, and they should be created when a person is in good health. These documents give clients the right to refuse or accept end-of-life care such as hydration, nourishment, and artificial resuscitation should they become ill. Even when people state their wishes, though, things can go wrong in times of crisis. Therefore, attorneys recommend naming someone who can act as an advocate.
Death is a touchy subject for many, and most people don’t like to think about it. However, it’s something everyone must eventually face. Consult a local wills and trusts attorney for help and advice.