Why you should get around to drawing up a will – the new york times

Having a will is important to ensure that your money and belongings are distributed according to your wishes after you die, said Sally Hurme, an elder-law attorney affiliated with AARP. Sql backup software “It determines how anything you own is going to be distributed to people you want to receive it, after your death,” she said.

If you die without a will, your estate will be settled in accordance with state law. List of backup software Details vary by state, but assets typically are distributed using a hierarchy of survivors. What is a backup software Assets go to first to a spouse, then to children, then your siblings, and so on.

People often fail to understand, however, that certain accounts take precedence over a will, Ms. Good backup software Hurme said.

Database backup software If you jointly own a home or a bank account, for instance, the house, and the funds in the account, will go to the joint holder — even if your will directs otherwise. Top 10 backup software Similarly, retirement accounts and life insurance policies are distributed to the beneficiaries you designate, so it is important to keep them up-to-date.

Health care powers of attorney, which let a trusted person make medical decisions for you when you are unable, are more common than wills, the survey found. Free backup software More than half of adults have granted someone legal authority to make treatment decisions.

Older people are more likely to have a health care power of attorney, sometimes called a health care proxy, the survey found. Data backup software for windows But Katie Roper, vice president of Caring.com, advises that everyone 18 or older — not just elderly people — should have one. The best backup software If you have a children 18 or older away at college, she said, making sure they have such documents can help make sure you are able to discuss their treatment, should an emergency arise.

Mr. Best free backup software windows 7 Roper said she was especially surprised at the survey’s finding that just 36 percent of adults with minor children have a will. System backup software An important function of a will, she said, is for parents to name a guardian to care for their children, in the event of their death.

Not necessarily. Backup software free Creating a will with a do-it-yourself software program may be acceptable in some cases, particularly if you are a single person with a modest bank account or half of a young couple with no children. Image backup software free “It’s perhaps better to have one done by a program than not at all,” said Gerard G. Exchange backup software Brew, a lawyer specializing in trust and estate matters with McCarter & English in Newark.

But if you have significant financial assets or a complex family situation, like a blended family or a child with special needs — it is best to seek expert advice. Best hdd backup software Any cost savings from skipping legal advice upfront, Mr. Ftp backup software Brew said, will quickly evaporate if an estate matter is contested in court. Best free backup software 2016 “I urge caution,” he said.

The price of a will varies by location and by the complexity of your situation. Backup files software Nationally, a couple most likely will pay an average of $1,200 to $5,000 for an estate planning package that includes wills and related documents, Mr. Best data backup software Brew said.

It doesn’t hurt to get prices from different firms, he said — just be sure the quote includes the same services. Corporate backup software To help rein in costs, Mr. Free hard drive backup software Brew advised, prepare for the first meeting with your lawyer by creating detailed lists of assets and accounts, so your time is spent as efficiently as possible.

Online options include LegalZoom, which offers wills for as low as $69. Driver backup software Quicken Willmaker, created by Nolo, can be downloaded or purchased as a disc. Backup pc software Prices range from about $31 to $55, depending on the version.

The New York Times tested several D.I.Y. Remote backup software programs several years ago, and concluded that legal help was warranted for all but the simplest estates. Hdd backup software Consumer Reports reached a similar conclusion.

Ms. Best backup software lifehacker Roper with Caring.com suggested that if you don’t have a will, you could create one yourself to get started, and then have it reviewed by a lawyer to make sure it covers all the important bases.

If you created the will yourself, opinions differ as to the best option. Best free backup software 2015 Ms. Software backup and restore Hurme advises against keeping your will in a bank safe deposit box, as it may be difficult for others to gain access to it after you die. Auto pc backup software She suggests keeping it at home — perhaps in a fireproof safe.

Mr. Data backup and recovery software free download Brew, however, prefers the safe deposit box route. External hard drive backup software Most states have a procedure to allow a named executor to retrieve a will, he said. Best personal backup software If you keep the original in your possession and it cannot be found upon your death, he warned, courts may presume that you revoked it.