The decision on how to split up your assets when writing a will is one of the biggest decisions you'll make about your estate. Here are some questions you can ask to make the decision easier.
Who Deserves to Be Included?
There are some usual players to consider when you are distributing assets. Your children are the biggest one, and they may legally inherit your assets if you don't specifically write out a will that determines how to distribute them. In the absence of children, close family members and relatives are often considered.
But there are other people to consider, as well. Is there anyone who has had a profound impact on your life who you would like to recognize alongside your family? That could be a teacher, a student, a close friend, or any other person. Another category of people to consider is people you know who would do great things with your assets. If there is a promising young person who needs a leg up, or someone you know who is working on an uplifting project, those are great people to consider for your will. Another thing to consider is whether there is someone who helped you out financially. Assigning some of your assets back to them is a nice way to say thank you for the help.
Will the Distribution Be Even?
Once you have a list of people who belong on the will, it's time to decide who gets which assets. It doesn't always have to be an even assignment. You could consider each person's financial situation, their closeness and significance to you, and the specific items that would benefit each person most.
While there are many ways to go when you're writing a will and splitting your assets, it's always a good idea to get sound legal advice to back up your decision. An estate planning attorney can help in several ways. For one, they might have some insight into things you missed when calculating the value of your assets. They can help you ensure that the will is legally valid and hard to dispute. An estate planning attorney can also act on the will when the time comes. Until then, the law firm will keep a safe and legal copy of the will so that it can't be tampered with by someone who has a vested interest in the estate.
All of these benefits make it worthwhile to have an estate planning attorney like those at Acton & Snyder, LLP on your side as you consider how to draw up your will.