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Why Should I Write a Will?

Estate planning might seem daunting and overwhelming, but this process is meant to give individuals peace of mind in knowing their wishes will be taken care of when they pass. One of the most important factors in estate planning is drafting the will. A will is a document that legally allows an individual to declare their wishes for what occurs to their estate upon their passing. To gain assistance with this process, reach out to our experienced estate planning attorney who can walk you through each step of the way.

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Why create a will?

Creating a will allows individuals to find peace in knowing their wishes are fulfilled regarding their assets and estate when they pass. A will allows individuals to avoid the worry of what would happen to their assets if they are unmanaged. The legal document gives individuals peace of mind in knowing their belongings will be in rightful hands when they pass. The following actions can be completed by creating a will:

  • Your will allows you to nominate a person to serve as a guardian for any of your minor children
  • Your will allows you to establish a trust to defer distributions of your property to minors.
  • Your will allows you to nominate a person to be the executor of your estate.
  • Your will allows additional expenses to the estate to be avoided by streamlining the administration of your estate.
  • Your will can allow you to distribute your estate in a manner that can generate substantial tax savings which would not be possible if your estate was distributed according to Iowa’s probate law.
  • Your will can direct the responsibility for payment of taxes by the estate before it is distributed.

What happens if I do not make a will?

If you do not create a will before you pass, the following actions may occur:

  • Your property will transfer through joint ownership, a trust, or designation, then your remaining property, called your probate estate, automatically becomes subject to the probate laws
  • When married: your spouse will receive all of your property if you have no children.
  • No spouse: all of your property will go to your children in equal shares.
    • If a child has died, that child’s children will share the child’s share, and so on down the line.
  • No descendants: your estate goes to your parents.
    • If you have no living parents, then the estate goes to your parent’s closest descendants
      • If there are no such relatives, then the estate goes to your grandparents and down from there.

How do I make my will?

To begin drafting your will you must meet the following requirement with the assistance of an experienced Iowa estate planning attorney.

  • It must be in writing
  • It must be witnessed by two competent persons
  • It must be signed by you, or by someone in your presence and at your direction with your name
  • You must declare to the witnesses that the will is your will
  • You and the witnesses must sign in the presence of each other
  • You must be at least 18 years old

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Herting Law, PLLC, is an Iowa-based law firm designed to help with all of your legal needs. If you need a Des Moines criminal defense lawyer, our firm has significant experience in all criminal matters, including OWIs, drug charges, gun crimes, theft, assault, and more. If you need an estate planning lawyer, our firm can guide you through it all, including drafting wills, trusts, and the administration of your estate. We have years of experience with immigration, business, contract, and family law matters. Whatever the situation, Herting Law, PLLC has you covered.

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