Having a written will can make a tremendous difference in your family’s ability to successfully close your estate. Clarifying your expectations can also reduce the risk of an estate dispute happening later on.
Knowing what information to include in your will can help you make confident decisions about what to say. With effective language and organization, you can optimize the purpose and function of your will.
Be specific and realistic
When describing your assets and your strategy for distributing them, using specifics can provide clarity and prevent misunderstanding. You can never provide too much detail. The more information you include, the less likely it is that your family will have to guess what you would have wanted. This often leads to disagreements over your intentions which could result in costly repercussions. Unfortunately in these types of situations, your family may end up losing money.
Keep a realistic perspective as you divide your assets. According to U.S. News, recognize that not every one of your heirs will have the same number of assets. The value of each person’s inheritance may also fluctuate depending on factors including relationship, age and maturity. Balancing everything the best you can while also staying realistic may help you make confident decisions about dividing your assets.
Keep your family informed
Your family does not need to know all of the details about your estate. The way you decide to distribute your assets is a personal choice. However, providing basic information about your intentions and expectations may give everyone a better idea of what to expect. Equally as important is your effort to proactively update your family if any substantial changes have occurred that may affect their inheritance.
Your will is a valuable resource that enables you to articulate your end-of-life wishes. Keeping it updated throughout your life will preserve its function and keep your money in the hands of the people you care about.