Okay, so you may be thinking “why would I want to save money when I’m no longer in this world?” Well, these will preparation tips aren’t really to help YOU save money. Rather, they’ll help your family avoid tons of headaches. Whether you are using an online will service, a lawyer or going to a notary you need some will preparation tips!
Believe me and trust my experience: my husband and I decided that we needed a will. We booked an appointment with our legal representative. It was one of my least favorite appointments. Who wants to discuss death and decide who gets what, or talk about what happens if you get ill? She asked us lots and lots of questions: some of them we could not answer right away, some of them we were able to answer! Fortunately, the representative had great experience in the matter and gave us enough time to think about everything. Here is what I learned from this appointment that will save money when preparing your will.
Will preparation tips to save money
When you are in your 20s, you don’t think much about death. You are too busy studying, starting your job, building your career. In your early 30s, you have probably started a family, so you are running behind everything. In your late 30s, you start thinking about retirement, death, etc! Not funny but as adults we need some financial preparation for death or an incapacity. How is family going to pay for funeral? If children are too young, who takes the custody? I know, I know it’s too heartbreaking! The first step to preparing for your inevitable demise is a will and it requires some preparations.
You don’t need a list of all your assets to write down on the will. I was prepared to write down all this for the legal representative but she said: the assets evolve during a life time. What you need to do is have a folder with all the legal documents at home (in a safe place). It will include the house documents, the bank accounts, all the credit card information, the list of insurances you have. Anything that can be transferred to another person!
Decide on your beneficiaries:
It seems obvious but it’s tricky. Do you want to include your children, future grandchildren, cousins, parents, friends? It’s a very, very hard decision. My husband and I had a heated discussion! So be prepared!
Decide how to split the assets:
Here comes a tip to save money: in some countries, when you transfer money to spouse, it’s tax free but if you transfer to children, it is not tax free. Make a choice that comforts you and will end up leaving more money in your family’s pocket. If you think your spouse will starve your children then make sure to leave money for them. (it’s a joke!). Check with your accountant or with the tax agency on best money transfer practices.
Decide at what age the children should get money:
If you decide to leave money for your children, at what age can they use it? 16, 18? 21 or 30? Again it’s a personal decision and depends on the children and the family dynamic.
Decide who will be manage the money for children:
In case you leave money for children and you die before the age you put in number 4, who will manage their inheritance? Will this person be their guardian too? Would you rather have the money held in trust for your kids?
Decide who will be the executor:
A will needs to be executed, meaning someone needs to take charge of gathering your documents and assets and splitting them according to your wishes.
These are just a few will preparation tips that will ultimately save money. It’s a difficult thing to think about, but it’s really important, especially if you have children. Even if you think you don’t have much of an estate to leave behind, it’s still important to have a will.