A will is a common estate planning tool that almost all legal adults in Alabama are encouraged to have. However, there are many terms associated with a will that you may not be familiar with. Let’s take a look at a few key words and phrases that you need to understand before executing this type of document.
How does a will help you manage your affairs?
A will is primarily used to dictate what happens to assets that are left in your estate when you pass. Your estate will be made up of anything that is held in your name at the time of your death. An executor represents your estate during probate, which is a hearing to determine if your will is valid. You can name an executor within the will itself or allow a probate judge to appoint an executor on your estate’s behalf.
Where might your assets go after your passing?
A home, car or anything else held in your estate will go to the people or organizations listed in your will. These people or organizations are known as beneficiaries. As a general rule, anyone over the age of 18 can own property on their own, and entities such as charities, local businesses or even government agencies may inherit your belongings. As part of the estate planning process, it may be a good idea to speak to your beneficiaries to ensure that they actually want the items that you want to transfer to them.
Ideally, you will start crafting your estate plan the moment you become a legal adult. This may minimize the risk of delays as it relates to settling your affairs or the risk of family infighting taking place after you are no longer among the living.