I previously discussed the three documents everyone should have in their estate plan. This post discusses the first document, a Will, in more detail.
What is a will? A Will is also known as a Last Will and Testament.
Most people have heard of a will, but often people are not exactly sure what it’s for. I get people all the time that will say, “Well, my mother’s still alive, but she’s not competent, but her will gives me the authority to do this.”
One of the most important things to remember about a will is that it does not go into effect until you pass away. A will is a document that tells the world what you want done with your assets when you die. It’s that simple. You decide who you want to leave your jewelry to, who do you want to leave your bank account to, who do you want to leave your home to. An estate planning attorney can draft the document for you as part of a comprehensive estate plan.
Inside the will you’ll also name what they call executor, or an executrix, which is the person who would take the will to probate and make sure that it’s processed. The most important part of the will is determining who it is you want to get your assets. When you die without a will the State of Alabama will decide what happens to those assets.
It’s your choice; you can either have a will and an estate plan in place which is your plan, or you can go by the State of Alabama’s plan, which usually probably is not what you want. Estate planning in Alabama is not difficult. By having a Will and a plan, you decide what happens to you and your assets and you relieve your family of a very heavy burden if something happens to you.
To learn more about estate planning in Alabama, how to avoid probate and make it easy on your family if something happens to you, click the link to receive a copy of our book on The Basics of Estate Planning in Alabama or visit events.adamsmillerlaw.com/Workshops.html to register for one of our free estate planning workshops or simply call us at 256 251-2137.