A caller in the local Fall River area asked, “I have no money to leave to anybody, but I do have an apartment with all of my possessions in it that I’d like to leave to my disabled daughter. What is the easiest and least expensive way to give everything to her?”
Steve Sabra answered that the best thing to do is write up a simple will. If you want to be sure and do it clearly, the easiest, best thing to do is a will that says, “When I die, I want everything to go to my daughter, I’m omitting my sons, not due to ill-will but because they are already well provided for.” That way there is no possible issue because you’ve left everything you own, which is your apartment and what is in it, to your daughter.
The daughter has a disability. The only issue with giving someone with a disability everything in your will is that you should make sure there is no large amount of money because it would knock a disabled person off of government benefits.
Four Important Things to Consider When Writing Up a Will
A will is a legal document written up by a testator where you manage all of your estates for when you die. An estate can be anything from money you wish to give to your spouse, children, or grandchildren, the home you live in, or even just things of sentimental value like jewelry. Anything you consider important enough to include in your will can be estate. The loved ones arranged to receive these estates are what is known as executors or beneficiaries.
Another important aspect of a will is that if you are the parent or guardian of a minor child, you should declare a new guardian for them to live with and be supported by.
An important frequently asked question regarding wills is, what would happen if someone does not carry out a will upon their death? Without a will, the deceased becomes an intestate, which means that your estate will be settled based on the laws of the state you live in. These are the estate settlement laws in Massachusetts With no beneficiaries named in a will, a judge will appoint an administrator to probate, or transfer, the estate to everyone in a way they deem appropriate. Unfortunately, their decisions may not adhere to your wishes and the wishes of other heirs.
Writing out a will is not an easy task, nor is it very pleasant to think about. You have to, not only imagine, but also plan for your death and potentially the death of your spouse and loved ones. But as uneasy as it may feel, it is something that is crucial for the loved ones you may leave behind. In the end, it avoids any hassles after your death and you get peace of mind in knowing that if forbid anything were to ever happen to you, your possessions will be in the right hands as you have desired. Therefore, you have to start thinking about your money and your most important and beloved possessions and then decide who would be best suited for what.
Here are four simple things it would be worth considering when you decide to write up a will:
- Appoint a guardian for minors. Whether it be your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, or a friend’s child, be sure that if someone receiving something in your will is under 18, that you provide a guardian for them to receive the will. In a situation where one parent dies, the other becomes the guardian. If both parents have deceased, they will look to your will to see if you appointed a guardian. Without appointing a guardian, the state will make the decision and it will be out of anyone else’s control.It would also be good to have two guardians. In case something were to happen to the primary guardian, the secondary guardian can still fulfill the obligation. Also, explain in the will why this person is fit to be the guardian, the relation you have and the relation the beneficiary minor has with this person, and mention the moral fitness of the person to take care of your child or any other minor.It would also be in good practice to mention this to the guardians beforehand and ask if it would be alright for them.
- Select beneficiaries for your will. Commonly, everything will go to family members and close friends. In most cases, all assets will go to your spouse if they are still living.Know which of your possessions will go to who. Choose your possessions that mean the most to you that you wish to be carried on and decide who gets the rights to these things. For instance, if you have a wedding ring that is valuable to you, state clearly that you wish to pass it down to your daughter.
- Be sure to update your will. If you have already made a will but it’s been a while since you’ve looked at it, you may want to update some of your statements. If, for instance, you’re leaving something in your will to someone who has already passed on, you need to update the beneficiary to someone else. Also, if you get divorced, you may wish to switch your ex-husband or ex-wife out of the will, potentially for your new spouse.
- Get a personal representative to execute your wishes. Appoint a will executor that you trust. Going through the process of leaving a will can be worrisome and stressful. It would be in your best interest to hire someone who can help you through the process every step of the way. Then, once you pass away, they will carry out the wishes from your will and make sure your loved ones receive the right possessions and your minors’ new guardians are the ones you chose.
For more than 35 years, Sabra and Aspden Law Offices have been handling cases in Fall River, Somerset, Swansea, New Bedford, and Assonet. They are the best wrongful death and divorce attorneys in all of Southern New England.