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What Is A Will?

In this article, you will learn all sorts of will information: the definition, why you need one, common problems concerning them, and how to get one.

  • Definition: An asset is an item a person is in possession of, and a will is someone’s request for what is going to happen their assets after they die. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘last will’, because it is the owner’s last wishes.

 

  • Why? The purpose of having a will is to make sure that a person’s assets are transferred to their correct locations. If someone does not have a will, their assets may not be transferred to the correct people or place after they die. Keep reading for more will information.

 

  • Each state is different, but some common problems for not having a will in Utah:
  • The state will decide what will happen to your assets after you die, not you or your family.
  • Without an executor, (someone who is put in charge of the assets after the owner of the will dies), transferring of the assets to the correct locations might be postponed, which can cause frustration and even family drama.
  • If you have a child that is a minor, not having a will makes the government become involved or even a guardian over that child. This is a common problem because parents want people they know and trust to watch over their children. This is important will information.
  • Another problem is someone not having a will after they die and does not have requests for how they will be buried. This can cause frustration for those appointed to decide for them, especially if the deceased person wanted to be cremated, but didn’t have it written in a will.
  • When you pass away with children without a spouse automatically leaves the children with the assets. If you have a spouse and no children, the spouse receives the assets. If you want your will information to award your assets to a different person, you must officially and legally make that addendum.
  • If you have more than one marriage and/or children with one or more spouse, it gets complicated. The spouse gets a fixed share of the property, then the children get everything else. Remember, however, this process isn’t smooth because the deceased person died without a will. This process can take months.

 

  • Common Problems relating to will information:
  • Power of Attorney: A power of attorney is someone who will act on your behalf in the event you become unable to speak and for yourself. Failure to notify who will or can be your of attorney is a common problem in trusts and wills. If you don’t notify who will be your power of attorney and you do in fact become unable to speak and act for yourself, someone you may not know or trust may be taking care of you. 
  • Unclear Direction: If the creator of a will does not state clear directions for the executor (the person in charge of the will when the creator dies), the executor may be confused as to when and where the assets are to be transferred. This can cause delay or the complete restriction of assets to be transferred. Make sure your will information is secure and properly laid out.
  • Divorce: One common problem is the will creator specifies the beneficiaries rules on marriage, but not for divorce. For example, if a will does not clearly state the funds stay in the beneficiary’s possession in the event of a divorce, the beneficiary losing the funds in a divorce is possible.

 

  • Effect: A will can affect multiple people or parties
  • What: The assets that get transferred to locations specified by the owner of the will can be furniture, property, and even taxes or money.
  • When: A last will becomes active after the owner of the will passes away, and that is the time when the assets are transferred to their correct locations. There are some instances when a will is active while the owner is still alive, this is called a living will. A living will is recommended for elderly, which can help avoid costly and frustrating situations for their family.
  • Who: The owner of the will, or the person that creates and signs the will, usually writes in their will information to have their assets given to their family or close friends. The family or friends of the owner will receive the assets according to the written rules of the will.  

 

  • Probate: what is it?
  • When the owner of the will passes away, a court will discuss where the assets will go, and decide how they will be transferred to the specified locations. In some states, the court will assign a temporary holder called an executor of the assets and the court will make sure that the executor be responsible, make sure any and all debt is paid, and transfer assets to the correct locations.
  • The reason probate gets a bad name is because in many cases, it can be a hefty, frustrating process. Choosing probate can prevent the beneficiaries from having access to the money in the will; this probate process can postpone the beneficiaries from having access to the money for weeks and even months.

 

  • How to obtain a will: The best wills are those written by you with the help of a lawyer, because writing one yourself can be risky for mistakes. A will is written and executed to benefit someone other than yourself, sometimes called the beneficiary, who is the party receiving your assets after you die. The person who is in charge of your will after you die is called the executor, or temporary holder. If you have children, selecting someone to watch over them and protect them is recommended when writing a will. Remember, the more specific and direct the written information is, the less complicated the execution of the assets are.

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