When you think about making out a will you will naturally think about whom to leave your assets to. Whether you have ten dollars to leave, or ten million dollars to leave, someone is going to be your beneficiary. As the saying goes, “you can’t take it with you”.
Along with the cash assets, you may own a home or a car or a boat, or any manner of real property. Those things will have to be dealt with, as well. If you haven’t yet made out a will, it’s a good idea to start making lists. What do you have and whom would you like to see receive it? This might not be as easy as it sounds.Think about the big things first. If you have a spouse or legal partner that person will inherit anything that you own jointly. This should definitely be a discussion that you have. If you own your house in your own name, you don’t have to leave it to a person. You can leave it to an institution or a charity. Depending on what your instructions are, that entity can sell it and take the profits or perhaps, depending on the location and zoning, use it for another purpose.
When you move on from the real property, you’ll want to look at your financial situation and personal property. Do you want to leave money to family members and/or friends? Do you want to leave it to a combination of family and friends and your favorite charities? Will your best friend want your jewelry or collections? Please note that you can also request that your jewelry be sold, as well as anything else that you own, and the profits dispersed among your designees.
Once you start to think about your friends, you might find that your list will change over time. Old friends may drop away, and new friends may take their places. The same may happen with family members. Feuds come and go, people pass away, new relatives join the family, babies are born. You can always redo your will to reflect these changes. Our lives rarely remain stagnant. Our property changes, as well. The important thing is that you start the process. When you have your will – however basic it is – in place, you don’t have to think about it again, unless you want to make modifications.
If you’re thinking about charitable donations, you will want to do a thorough check before you make your plans to make sure that the funds you leave will be used well and legally. You can request a visit or meeting with a local charity and ask the questions that you have. Charitable Donations can be looked up at the GuideStar website for charities that are not in your area. Just click. This is very helpful when you’re contemplating medical donations or anything have to do with animals or organizations.
And don’t forget your pets. You’ll want to choose someone who will take the best care of them. It is a kind and generous thing for you to also leave funds for this purpose. There are too many shelters filled with animals who had owners who didn’t make plans for them.
Please give us a call to talk about your will. We will draw one up that puts your mind at ease and we’ll help where you’d like us to in deciding about your assets. Call us at (503) 655-7555 to make an appointment. Then you can go back to living your life!