No one wants to think about what it will be like to be at the end of life. It is not pleasant, nor easy to think about creating a will at any stage. However; there are distinct advantages to crafting a will with a lawyer. There are benefits of writing a will, and there may be disadvantages you should consider as well.
Pro: You can designate an executor.
The executor of your will is the person who will be enacting your wishes. This may be a relative who lives close to you, so they are able to travel to your residence and handle any physical transactions or property. However, it should also be someone that you know would honor your wishes and not be swayed from your directives by the opinions of others. If you have any controversial aspects in your will, make sure that your executor is strong enough to, and willing to, stick up for your final wishes in the face of those who may decide they should receive more of your property than you’d planned.
Pro: You can choose who you’d like to inherit your property.
Most of us are closer to some family members than others and would like to give our possessions to specific individuals. If you pass without a will, however, your property will be subject to state law. Under state law, those you intended to receive your property might get nothing, and those you did not intend to get anything might get the bulk of your assets.
Further, wills can formalize the relationships you have, and ensure that the law does not pass over anyone. For example, if you are not married, but have a long-term partner, your will can ensure that items pass to your partner. Conversely, if you’re in the midst of a divorce and pass before it is finalized, your will can ensure that your would-be ex-partner is not given any property you wouldn’t wish them to have.
Pro: You can designate a guardian for your children and provide for them.
If you pass while your children are still minors, they will need a guardian. This is a hugely important decision and one that you, the parent, should make. Not only can your will designate who the legal guardian of your children will be, it can also set up financial provisions for your kids through a separately created trust.
Pro: You can amend and revoke your will.
As your assets and relationships change throughout your life, so too can your will. While wills seem final, they are actually amendable documents up until your passing. There is no limit to the number of wills you may draw up in your lifetime.
Pro: You don’t have to be loaded to need a will.
To many, a will might be something that seems only necessary for those with high net worth. No matter your personal bottom line, as long as you have assets you wish to give to others or have children that require the appointment of a guardian, you need a will.
Con: Wills are relatively inflexible.
If you are comparing trusts and wills, note that wills are relatively inflexible. You could devise a trust to handle your assets during your lifetime with yourself as trustee, and designate a trustee for the balance who would take over upon your passing.
Con: It is possible that someone will challenge your will.
While it is possible someone will challenge your will, if you have gone through the necessary details and steps with a lawyer, even if a challenge is made, the challenger is unlikely to succeed.
If your assets are of a certain value they might need to go through probate. Probate is a long legal process of supervising the execution of your will. However, it is better to go through probate and make sure that your assets have gone where you intended than to leave it up to the state to determine who gets what.
Con: Your will is public record.
Finally, your will is public record. Once you have passed and the will is filed for probate, it will become public record. So, hypothetically, anyone could see the contents of your will.
Call Us Today
If you are considering setting up a will, call the experienced attorneys of Arenson Law Group, PC at (319) 363-8199 today. We will help you understand your assets and decide what is important for you to include in your will to provide for your loved ones. Further, we will ensure that the will is fine-tuned to be understood and carried out to the best of your executor’s ability.
Our wills attorneys lead with years of experience and compassion. Give us a call to get started today.