Wills: Not Just About Assets

What will happen when I am gone? This question tends to be at the front of a person's mind when they think about the fact that they will, one day, pass away. It is this question that wills are aimed at addressing.

One thing that having a will can allow a person to control is how the various assets they have obtained over the years will be distributed when they die. However, assets are not the only thing wills control. Today, we will discuss a couple of other important things that a will can control.

Most persons care far more about this question than what will happen with their assets: what will happen with their kids. Parents generally have very strong feelings and thoughts about how their kids should be raised and what environment their kids should grow up in, and thus often have an incredibly strong preference regarding who would raise their kids if they were to pass away while the kids were still minors. In a will, a person can express such a preference, thus preventing the important decision of who will care for the kids from having to be decided on by a court.

Another important decision relates to who will be in charge of carrying out the terms of the will. This person is referred to as the executor. In a will, a person can name who they would like to have in this role. Given the important things the executor is put in charge of, it is generally advisable to give very careful thought to this question.

As one can see, there are a number of very important things that a will can control. Individuals interested in setting up a will may find it helpful to talk with an attorney about what kinds of terms can be included in a will and what sorts of terms would be most consistent with their particular goals and wishes.

Source: FindLaw, "Top Ten Reasons to Have a Will," Accessed Jan. 26, 2015

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