Essential features of your estate plan include the financial power of attorney, medical power of attorney, and a potential trust. The crucial components of writing a Will are only one factor that goes into its compilation. There are other features also involved in drafting a Will. These include appointing an executor and a personal representative. After all, when you wrap up your affairs, you want to ensure that your deeds get appropriately managed. A Will is also supposed to be as transparent as possible. If you have any debts or taxes, you need to mention them. People forego the process of writing a Will because it seems too tedious. However, getting done with it on time will save you and your loved ones massive trouble. If you’re worried about the money, here are some factors you need to be mindful of:
There are layers to the process
Writing a Will requires you to pay attention to everything that comes to your ownership. That means while you’re verbally stating you are giving your assets to your heirs, you need to provide proof. Start by compiling a list of everything you own and anything that has a monetary value attached to it. It will help if you consult someone with an estate planning certificate to get the best advice and follow through with the entire process. Your list of valuables should also include checks and savings, your certificates of deposits, and all life insurance policies. When you have a list ready, then bring in all your dependents. If there are minors who will be a part of your inheritance, you need to give special consideration to them.
The cost of a Will
If you’re in the United States, the two factors that dictate the cost are the state you’re living in and the complication of your case. An essential Will costs as little as $150. For many people, that’s an affordable price. There are also do-it-yourself tools that help you manage the process at a minimum cost. However, with a DIY approach, you need to educate yourself on legal jargon. If your Will is extensive, covering many clauses and assets, it can rake up the cost. You may end up paying $1,000 for an iron-clad and proper Will. Some lawyers also charge an exuberant fee depending on the name and reputation of the client.
The process of hiring a lawyer
Lawyers understand the legal system enough to guide you through the process of writing your Will. Lawyers can provide you with the information you need to draft your Will. However, hiring a lawyer can get expensive. Their charges don’t only depend on drafting your Will but also the legal advice they provide. Lawyers have different rates. Lawyers can charge you anything from $100 to $400. While the expense can get hefty, you should look into getting a lawyer. If your Will is not correctly drafted, covering pertinent details, it will not get signed. Inevitably you’ll end up pushing yourself into a long and tedious process, so you should get a lawyer from the get-go.
Know the difference between a Will and a Living Trust
Some people get confused about the cost because of the difference between Will and Living Trust. A Will covers all your assets that will get distributed after you pass. When you’re dealing with a Will, you need to appoint a guardian who will handle your affairs after you die. On the other hand, a Living Trust is a more comprehensive estate planning option that brings in an attorney and a medical lawyer. That means if you can’t handle the responsibilities anymore, a lawyer can step in. However, it would help if you appointed a successor to take any legal matters regarding your trust. Setting up a Living Trust can cost you $1,000 and is far more elaborate than a Will.
Joint properties don’t go in the Will
When it comes to your Will, you can’t claim ownership of the property. The percentage that belongs to you goes in your Will. The same applies if you’re sharing a property with your siblings. So if you’re wondering that you financially get all the legal rights over every property under your name, you need to consider them properly.
Don’t leave any taxes or debt unpaid
You need to ensure that your property stands as a legal entity. You can’t build a property on illegal grounds and expect it to pass through your Will. In addition, if you take house loans, you need to pay them off. You risk passing on the debt ahead if you don’t fulfill your taxation requirements. You also risk your Will not getting through because there are too many outstanding dues. Your lawyer may also not clear you for a Will if they feel your account statement is not up to par.
Identify your assets
Inventory of your financial assets means you need to review your bank accounts, credit cards, and investments. In the digital era, you need to go through all your biological and digital assets. You may need to talk about your domain names, social media accounts, and now cryptocurrency. Parents who had children through alternate means such as an IVF may have leftover eggs. These also come under the banner of assets. So a big chunk of your cash may go into proving and compiling these assets.
As you write your Will, there are many factors you need to consider. Compiling a Will requires money. You may need to get a lawyer on board to help you draft a proper Will. Your assets hold a monetary value. If you’re unable to compile all of them on paper properly, you can lose their worth. Writing a Will requires you to dish out some money. You need to lay down a basic fee before you can jump on board with the extensive payments. If you have outstanding dues or charges, consider paying them off. All of these factors work in unison and may cost you money. So if you want an easy time going through the entire process, ensure you organize all relevant details before beginning.