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Last Will Tip Sheet

People who develop an estate plan in the Greensboro, North Carolina area will almost always include a last will and testament as a part of their plan. The process of creating a will is relatively straightforward. While your estate planning lawyer will tell you what you have to do to make a legal last will, there are some tips you can keep in mind to make sure that you make responsible, and practical, choices as you go about the process.

Tip 1. Understand that your last will is only one part of an inheritance plan.

A lot of people believe that a last will and testament is the only tool they need to pass on inheritances. While in days past a will was the main way people left inheritances, today’s inheritance plans are a little more complicated.

Even though your plan will almost certainly include a last will and testament, it will also rely on other tools to protect your inheritance choices. Some of these tools, such as a revocable living trust, can offer you greater flexibility when making inheritance decisions, and will actually become more important than your last will.

Tip 2. Consider practical concerns when choosing an executor.

As part of the will creation process, you will have to select an executor who will manage your estate after you die. This executor will need to be a person who is capable of handling some significant responsibility. Even though your executor will likely have a probate attorney to guide him or her through the estate management process, it’s important to consider the practical limitations that age might impose.

In other words, when choosing an executor, you will want to consider a younger person because that person will likely still be capable when the time comes to manage your estate. If, on the other hand, you choose a person similar in age to yourself, that person may not be around, or be capable, when the time comes to manage your estate.

Tip 3. Don’t assume that close family members are the only people you can choose.

When it comes to inheritances, executors, and child guardians, most people look to their closest family members when making their last will and testament. However, you are not legally obligated to do so.

You can, for example, consider anyone you like when you choose a guardian in your last will. Should you die before your young children are old enough to care for themselves, the guardian will become the caregiver. Choosing a guardian who will be the best possible parent for your child is more important than choosing someone because of a family relationship.

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