The law exists to protect our rights from cradle to grave. For example, if you are unfairly dismissed from work, you could speak to an employment lawyer. Or if you live in Indiana and a loved one, who lives in Long Island, NY has died due to medical malpractice, you could speak to a wrongful death lawyer in Long Island. The law is all-encompassing. But what about writing and leaving a will? Although you may not have thought about it, it’s important to understand the reasons why people write and leave wills behind for their loved ones. Here are some of the tops things you’ll want to have clear when after you die.
Appoint the Person Who Carries out Your Wishes
This might sound a little strange at first, but just because you leave a will doesn’t mean there is anybody in charge of actually reading its contents and carrying out your wishes. As part of your will, you need to name an ‘executor’. This is the person through whom all of your estate’s correspondence will be processed, including your wishes for the division of your assets.
Without a named executor, things can get tricky, especially if there are a lot of people who feel they deserve the title. This named executor has the right to consult with a lawyer where necessary – no other person is legally allowed to speak to a lawyer on your – and your will’s – behalf.
Appoint a Guardian for Minor Children
Choosing a guardian for children is all too often overlooked. Generally, it’s because people can’t (or don’t want to) contemplate their early demise. However, where a guardian is not named in a will, the eventual decision over who shall become the legal guardian of your children will rest with a judge. Now, the judge has no reason not to act in the best interest of your children, however, the outcome can’t be guaranteed to be what you want.
To Disinherit Somebody
Typically, when the will writer does not want somebody to inherit anything (perhaps a distant family member who never responds to attempts at making contact), the details of the will might state that the person should receive a small inheritance. However, this can be ambiguous, and where a person is included in the will, they may try to argue for a larger inheritance. Instead, you must disinherit them, stating that they are to receive nothing.
Secure Your Digital Legacy
Most of us think of social media as having begun in earnest with services like MSN, before the advent of Myspace in 2003 and Facebook in 2004. However, a French system called Minitel was connecting users as early as 1980. People could buy tickets, book holidays, chat, you name it. Ever since the advent of online identities and online passwords, your digital legacy has mattered. Your will must contain your up to date passwords and a named person in control of your accounts – otherwise, your accounts will be unmanaged and unprotected. This is of great concern for some people who have business dealings online and substantial risk to assets and privacy if things are left unchecked
Writing and leaving a will is a personal matter that each one of us has to decide for ourselves. Though Many choose not to do so, I highly recommend doing some further research to see what options you have. This is especially helpful if you have young children, a large estate, and other complicated situations to figure out. No one wants to think about dying, but, in this case, it could mean the difference between leaving the legacy you want or a huge fiasco for others to manage.