According to a recent survey, around 71 percent of individuals under the age of 34 do not have wills and 41 percent of Baby Boomers do not have them either. While preparing a will can be hard, it is essential for the majority of individuals. A will may help avoid potential disagreements among family regarding asset distribution. By preparing a will, individuals may be able to make their wishes known and ease the process of inheritance.
One of the steps in preparing a will is naming the executor of an estates. Additionally, having an up-to-date list of all liabilities, financial assets and digital accounts might make the process easier. Other documents that are important include a living will and a durable power of attorney. A power of attorney gives an individual the ability and authority to be in charge of a another person's personal or financial affairs. Establishing a health care proxy that has Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act provisions to protect an individual's privacy is also very important.
Property titles and various financial assets should also be included in wills. Retirement assets and life insurance plans may only be transferred via beneficiary designation. Bank accounts need a payable on death establishment in order to transfer monies. It is important to remember for individuals that they need to review these documents in a timely manner to make sure they are keeping up with potential changes in their life.
Through proper estate planning, an individual may be able to avoid last minute complications and protect their loved ones throughout the process. An estate planning attorney may be able to assist with the creation of documents and the collection of relevant financial information.
Source: Time, "How Writing a Will Is Like Backing Up Your Hard Drive", Lazetta Rainey Braxton , August 18, 2014