The Basics of A Will: The What, Why, and Who

Writing a Will

Estate planning can be a difficult and sometimes painful process. Nobody likes to think about death, and planning what comes afterward is tough on the individual and their family. However, estate planning and writing a will can create a brighter future for the next generation, and minimize confusion and disagreements between families.

What is the purpose of a Will?

There are three main functions of a will: to coordinate asset distribution, appoint who handles your affairs after death, and to appoint guardians for minors. A will is a document that lists these concerns and ensures that everything is covered after the author passes away. When someone dies without a will, their assets end up being passed down based on state and county laws, and there is often a long and expensive legal battle ahead.

Why do you need a Will?

The process of dividing assets within someone’s estate after they pass can be difficult and confusing. Without anyone directly named, battles over property and inheritance have the potential to get ugly. Writing a will can be the greatest gift you give to the next generation because everyone will see your instructions in print, which reduces disagreements between the beneficiaries in your will. Additionally, estate planning ahead of time will ensure all the necessary documents are accounted for, and that anything of value is easily accessible.

Who should have a Will?

Although Hollywood has given us plenty of examples of will readings in the movies, the truth is that it’s not just for people with extreme wealth. Anyone with assets should look into estate planning, and if there’s anything you plan to pass down, then it’s a good idea to start a will. The other concern being that while you may not have much to pass down now, if you wait until you “have something” and forget, then what you did save up could be squandered in legal fees or given to the wrong family members.

When you’re working on a will, consider everyone you’d like to leave belongings or assets to. The best gift you can give them is a well thought out will, that makes dividing your assets straightforward.

The Bottom Line

No matter what you might think, estate planning is for everyone. Even if you don’t consider yourself the owner of an “estate,” it’s likely that you’ll want some say in what happens to your assets, however great or small! Not only is this important for yourself, but it will help your family and loved ones in the long run.

If you’re looking for more information about estate planning or would like some assistance creating your will, don’t hesitate to contact Apple Payne Law today.


Author Bio

Ronald D. Payne II
Ronald D. Payne II is the CEO and Managing Attorney of Apple Payne Law, a North Carolina law firm he founded in 2018. With more than 11 years of experience practicing law, he is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of legal matters, including business law, estate planning, family law, probate, and traffic law.

Ronald received his Juris Doctor from the Wake Forest University School of Law and is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being awarded the 2020 Client’s Choice Award by Avvo and multiple Rising Star awards from Super Lawyers.

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