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What Exactly Is a Will -- and What Goes in It?

National Estate  Planning Week_Blog

According to Investopedia, “a will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of any minor children. If you die without a will, those wishes may not be carried out. Further, your heirs may end up spending additional time, money, and emotional energy to settle your affairs after you’re gone.”

It’s best to have a written, witnessed will, Investopedia says. This means that you prepare a written document and sign it in the presence of others. You can do it yourself, but having an estate attorney can help ensure it’s done in accordance with your state’s laws.

In the will, you’ll indicate how you want your assets, such as your account balances, property, and prized possessions, distributed. You’ll also state your wishes over who becomes legal guardian of your minor children. 

In the event that you pass away without a will – known as intestate – the state will distribute your assets, typically according to a set formula, according to Investopedia.

A will can also reduce estate tax liability. 

This blog is an excerpt taken from our upcoming Financial Legacy Planning eBook. Check back for more excerpts and the entire eBook.

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