People often think they shouldn't start writing their will because they're young and healthy, but this could be a mistake. The sooner the person starts, the more flexibility they could have at shaping the financial future the way they want for themselves and their families. It is never too early to begin this process.
The Essentials of Wills
There are some essential aspects clients should keep in mind when they want to start working on their will. Here are some steps to consider:
Writing a will doesn't necessarily have to be complicated, especially when clients have assistance from an expert. We often encourage customers to start the process as soon as possible because it is best to avoid either making postmortem decisions or waiting until it's too late.
If the spouse or children of the deceased financially depend on the assets to live, waiting so long for the estate to settle might have some added consequences. At the same time, people that don't depend on the assets still have to go through the hassle of dealing with probate, which clients may be able to avoid if they plan accordingly.
Other risks might arise if the client does not plan on time. Unfortunately, wills and settlements sometimes divide families, especially if the family was complex in the first place. If things are not specified in the will, ambiguity might leave place for arguments and further issues.
The advisors at The Kelley Financial Group can help you evaluate estate plan strategies and work with your estate attorney as they suggest options to help make the process as smooth as possible.
Preventing Errors and Challenges
When will-planning, financial advisors must take essential aspects into account, for example, preventing challenges and errors that may arise. This can be more straightforward if the person plans and addresses all potential pros and cons of their decisions.
In cases where the executor is also an heir, for example, the client must consider whether they have too much power with regard to the assets they're leaving behind.
At the same time, the financial advisor must also help the client consider other specific aspects, for example, what happens if the assets pass through a trust, and whether they should choose that over passing them outright.
Along with their clients, financial advisors must also decide the timing, amounts, and controls of the asset transfers. Overall, these are very complicated matters, and they may require knowledgeable help, which is why hiring a professional from The Kelley Financial Group may be beneficial.
When someone hears the word 'will,' their mind might automatically go to the money they can leave others once they pass away. However, there are also other things to consider, such as possessions and estate.
Money, in a way, is easier to manage because the person could choose to split it if they must choose between several heirs. However, this is not as straightforward regarding other possessions because they can't split them equally.
A legal professional must specify everything the client wants in the will. Otherwise, there might be legal issues once the heirs try to take hold of their possessions.
On numerous occasions, will-planning takes months because an attorney must review a myriad of documents before they help clients put things into written form.
People should also consider that around one to three percent of all wills are contested each year in the United States. This sounds like a low percentage, but it's still thousands of wills that other people dispute.
One of the most complicated parts of will-planning is incorporating taxes into the documents. This is one of the primary reasons so many hire professionals to guide them, as this process is extremely complex.
Financial advisors with years of experience can help guide their clients, so the person knows what the heir will have to handle once they're gone.
What Happens in the End?
Overall, planning and writing wills is much more complicated than it seems, which is why it almost always involves help from one or more professionals in estate planning. Consulting with a qualified attorney and experienced financial advisors can help clients craft their estate plan.
As was mentioned before it is often suggested to start planning as soon as possible. It doesn't matter that the person has good health and is not at risk - overall, clients must understand that they don't want to wait until it's too late, which is why getting help when they're young is essential.
Moreover, when a client hires a financial advisor, they might discover things they didn't know before. We can suggest options the person wouldn't have seen otherwise.
Clients Might Have Questions
Having questions is not only normal but also a good idea. Most people don't know much about wills or what they must do, so they might be very confused during the process.
However, this is part of what your estate attorney and financial advisor can help with - their job is to guide clients, so they can answer all the inquiries people have about the decisions they're making.
Hiring a Financial Advisor Is Crucial
Contact The Kelley Financial Group if you have question about estate planning strategies.
This material was created for The Kelley Financial Group’s use.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which strategies or investments may be suitable for you, consult the appropriate qualified professional prior to making a decision.
The Kelley Financial Group and LPL Financial do not offer tax or legal advice or services. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax or legal advisor.