One of the first questions when drafting an estate plan for the first time is what does and does not belong in a will. Regardless of your age or your financial holdings, you should create a will that sets out the people who you want to inherit when you die.
Even an old will that does not set out specific property can still prove effective decades later as long as it has the proper language and includes some basic elements.
What if you do not have property when you draft a will?
A will is a document that the Massachusetts probate court follows after your death. Probate ensures that the person you appoint pays your debts, liquidates assets and disburses items to your heirs. This does not mean you have to wait until you do have property to create a will. It can simply state that any and all property you own outright at the time of your death passes to those you choose.
What should you do in a will?
One of the times you should revise a will is when you have children. One of the things you may want to consider after becoming a parent is what happens to children under the age of 18. A will can appoint guardians who will take on your parental duties and raise your children should you die before they reach 18.
A will can also disinherit an heir. For instance, if you have four adult children but do not want one of them to share in your estate, you can make provisions in your will specifying this. Doing so may prevent legal issues from cropping up with the disinherited child after you die.
Your will is an opportunity to make decisions now that will benefit and help those you love.