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Think about your needs when creating a will

We have often discussed the fact that a will is the cornerstone of the estate plan. It is important for you to understand some of the reasons why having a will is so important. Once you understand the importance, you might find that making time to create a will isn't all that difficult.

For parents with minor children, a will is a vital document because it allows you to decide who you want to care for your children. That is likely much better than the alternatives of the court appointing a foster parent or the court naming a relative to keep your children.

You can decide how your estate will be divided. You can include items that you think your loved ones will fight over. For example, you can say what you want to happen to the stained glass butterfly hanging in your dining room. You can even use your will to exclude people from claiming your estate.

When you have a will, your loved ones will likely be able to avoid the long probate court process. This means that your loved ones won't be held in limbo waiting on your estate to settle.

Making a will allows you to think about the various taxes associated with an estate. If you are concerned about taxes, you can find out how you can minimize the tax hit your loved ones will take after you pass away. You can even use your will to leave assets to charities and other entities.

It is a good idea to go over your will when you have a major life change. Getting married, getting divorced, having children or grandchildren and changes in assets are all good reminders to recheck your will to ensure it is exactly what you want.

Source: FindLaw, "Top Ten Reasons to Have a Will," accessed May. 08, 2015

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