Wills are among the important documents you’ll need to sign to help secure your future, much like a marriage license or home loan. It’s important that you know what is included in your will before signing so you can be sure your final wishes will be carried out by your family members. If you’re a New York resident, here is some valuable information to keep in mind.
Why you should have a will
A will, also known as a last will and testament, is the only way to make sure that your wishes are carried out when you pass away. It is best to think about all the terms you want to include in your will to minimize disagreements among your loved ones. Wills that are prepared in advance can also expedite the probate or administration process so your assets can be passed on to your relatives as quickly as possible.
Terms you should know
It’s also important to learn about the terms associated with wills so you can make the best choices for your family.
One of the terms you should be aware of is “estate.” Your estate is the sum of all the things you own when you pass away. This can include your life insurance policy and retirement funds.
An executor is an individual you designate in your will to oversee your estate. Your executor has to ensure that your wishes are honored and will have to pay any taxes or bills you’ve left behind to keep your assets from being repossessed.
Beneficiaries are the people or organizations you want to leave your assets to. You can name as many beneficiaries as you’d like in your will and you can also choose to leave some of your assets to your favorite charity or nonprofit organization.