Your Will and Specific Gifts: Best Practices
Your Last Will and Testament is one of the most important documents you will ever sign and, better yet, you get to decide what goes into it! When it comes to specific gifts – who gets what – it all comes down to what you want. What’s the best way to make sure everyone knows where you want your property and money to end up?
First Things First
Prepare an inventory of your assets, including personal property that you may want to give to specific people. Before writing your Will, think about how the property should be divided. Some of your belonging may have sentimental value or may be a family heirloom that should be protected for future generations. Maybe a friend has always admired something you own and you’d like them to own it when you’re gone. Your attorney will be able to tell you the best way for your wishes to be accomplished.
Consider a Trust
Sometimes Wills use part of the estate to fund a family trust, which may provide additional benefits like tax reduction. You can put many or all your assets into the trust to benefit your family after you’re gone. The trust will contain language controlling the assets and distributing the assets to beneficiaries. The trustee or successor trustee will make sure gifts go to the proper person.
Other Things to Consider
There can be pitfalls to making a lot of specific bequests. You may want to divide your assets equally among your children, but then you sell some property after signing your Will. Unless you change your Will, the person who would have gotten that property will be shortchanged. Sometimes assets increase or decrease in value, which may trigger a need to realign your bequests. And you may even change your mind about whether certain family members should receive anything from your estate.
Making sure your life care plans dispose of your assets in an efficient way gives you peace of mind. It also gives your beneficiaries a peaceful and orderly way to dispose of your assets. There’s no need to fight over the silver!
Learn More About Making Your Will
Find out more about your estate planning options by watching some of the free videos on our website, keystonelawfirm.com. For more information or to set up an appointment with a qualified Arizona estate planning attorney, give us a call at (480) 418-8448.