Wills, living wills and why you need one

Wills, living wills and why you need one

What is a will?

A last will and testament is a legal document that communicates a person’s final wishes pertaining to possessions and dependents.

Why should we have a will? 

So that you can say who gets what after you pass away. A will is often used to avoid family fights. It is important to make it clear in your will who will get what portion of your money, trusts, and or estates.

How often should you go back and check your will?

Every 2 years.

Things change and the experts recommend every 2 years. It is important to think about your will regularly, read it every now and then, and if you see that it’s out of date, get it updated.

What happens when someone dies without a will?  

There is a formula for who gets what and the law decides, nobody else has any say.

Normally the estate goes to the next of kin, and if you have a surviving spouse or child they will get everything

In this case, the division could not be what you have wanted, and therefore it is important to have a will.

What is a living will?

A living will, also called a directive to physicians (an instruction to your doctors, if you get sick or are in an accident and you can’t speak for yourself) leaves an instruction. It could be something along the lines of do not resuscitate, don’t keep me alive if I am on life support or do keep me alive no matter what.

If you want a family member to make your medical decisions for you when you are unable to do so, you can create a health care power of attorney to give someone that decision-making authority.

Do you have to nominate a guardian of your choice for your minor children?

If you choose to appoint a guardian for your children, you have to add this to your will. There are other legal forms of guardianship, but for the average person, putting this in your will, will be enough.

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