Your will is essential for ensuring that your wishes are honored once you pass away. Without it, the state determines what happens to your property. Think of your will as an instruction document for directing key people.
Most people are familiar with the basic concept of a will. It is used to name not just a guardian for your minor children, but also to name the important people who will serve as your executor or personal representative and what happens to your property. A will, in this way, provides direction to your family members during a tough time. When you leave assets to heirs using a will, you may not recognize how complicated this process can still be.
You need a legally valid and clear will to help direct your personal representative or executor on how to dispose of your property. The will must be clear because the executor or personal representative has a layer of personal liability, meaning they could be accused of malfeasance and pursued via lawsuits.
It is essential to ensure that you provide clear instructions about what they should give and to whom and verify that these instructions do not contradict any other estate planning documents you have.
For example, suppose that you listed what you wanted to happen to retirement account funds in your will. These retirement funds pass outside of your will through the management of the account directly. You must file beneficiary forms with those account managers to ensure they have the proper information to transfer this material. Consult a knowledgeable and qualified estate planning attorney to help you with this process. Our New Hampshire or Maine estate planning lawyers can assist.