Digital products are taking over. You don't own a shelf full of CDs and tapes. You have a phone full of digital albums that you can bring up with a click. You don't have a cabinet full of DVDs. You have an Amazon account where you can log in and stream whatever you want. You don't even have books on your bookshelves anymore. You own ebooks that you read on a variety of devices, while your shelves collect dust.
When you decide to do your estate planning, you need to know how to draft a valid will in the United States. That typically means a written will signed by you and a witness and/or notarized. While using a notary is not required, it's an extra step that people sometimes take to ensure the validity of the will.
There are some common questions that many clients that are looking to prepare their wills ask their estate planning attorney. One question centers around what's an appropriate age to draft it. Another has to do with how often it needs updating. A third has to do with what it's going to take for the testator to make sure that it will stand up in a court of law. These are all important questions.
Is an inheritance really something that you want to be a surprise? Many parents make it one. They never tell the children what they're going to get and they only find out when they read the will.
There are plenty of reasons why people do not write wills, as evidenced by the fact that most people don't have one. Some think it will cost too much. Others do not know where to start. Others think that they don't have enough assets for it to be important. Still others think that it doesn't matter if they have one or not.
There are plenty of reasons to write a will, and maybe you've mulled over a lot of them already. You have significant assets that you need to sort out. Your children want to know what they should expect to inherit. You want to figure out what the tax burden of your estate looks like. You're a business owner and you need to decide what to do with the company.
People often think estate planning revolves around money. The goal, after all, is to decide what to do with your assets after you pass away.
When you write your will, be careful and do try to get everything perfectly right. Remember that your family may be counting on it to be accurate and helpful. You never know when they're actually going to need to use it. Don't make mistakes.
You and your spouse can certainly write your own wills and do your own estate planning if you would like. However, remember that you also have the option to use a joint will.
You're thinking about writing a will, but you don't like the idea of typing one up. You worry about cybersecurity and you don't know who else may access any digital files you create. It seems better to write the will yourself and keep it in a safe place.