Wills do more than you likely first thought. For example:

  • They let you designate who will inherit which of your assets.
  • They let you name a guardian for your children and an executor of your estate. (The executor can be an individual you know or a trust company.)
  • They let you specify when your children will receive what. Otherwise, an 18-year-old may end up receiving his entire inheritance before he's mature enough to keep from spending it all on stereos and cars.
  • They let you save money by waiving the probate bond, which will otherwise be required.
  • They can let you authorize the sale of some of your assets during probate administration. This can be important, because sometimes such a sale is necessary to raise money needed to pay taxes and death-related expenses.
  • They can permit your business to continue operating.
  • They can save you some money in taxes.

Learn more about estate planning at Estate Planning Links and on our Estate Planning discussion board. Of related interest is info from the Funeral Consumers Alliance and the lengthy but enlightening Funerals andRipoffs website. Also, check out our previous articles on how much funerals cost and how to plan your will.

And by the way, this is exactly the kind of topic that a financial advisor can help you with. Learn how to find one at our Advisor Center. Also, check out our TMF Money Advisor service, which features customized independent advice from a variety of objective financial experts.