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A will can put your mind, and those of your loved ones, at ease

Even though many people in Moorestown have an idea that they will create a will someday, some people put off completing this task. However, no one can predict the future, much less his or her own death. If a person dies without a will, the person's assets will be divided per state statutes -- known as intestacy -- which means that a person has not control over who inherits what property. This is why having a will is important

So, how does one begin the process of creating a will? First, it can help to consult with an attorney. An attorney can help create a valid and legally enforceable will. After that, it is important to itemize assets. This includes not only tangible property, such as an automobile, but also intangible property, such as bank accounts.

After that, determine which of these assets can be included in a will. If an asset has a named beneficiary, that asset will go to the beneficiary, even if a will says otherwise. Also, update beneficiary designations, if needed.

Next, decide who will be heirs, and what they will inherit. Not only can spouses or children be heirs, but so can other relatives, friends or even a charity. If one has minor children, they may want to think about how they want them to inherit. Sometimes, one may choose a trust over or in addition to a will.

In addition, name an executor, who will be the person to carry out the provisions of the will. Some people name a professional, such as an attorney, as their executor as the duties of the executor can be complicated.

Finally, have an attorney draft the will, along with any other estate planning documents, and have a family meeting where to explain the estate plan. This can help avoid unwanted surprises, when not dividing the estate equally.

Creating an estate plan is important. By having a will, one can control their estate, even after death. Seeking the assistance of an experienced attorney can help formulate a solid estate plan.

Source: Money, "Half of Americans Don't Have a Will. Here's How to Fix That for Your Family," Kerri Anne Renzulli, Nov. 30, 2016

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