Take Care of Your Legacy: Planning Your Will & Estate

November 18, 2021  |  Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd.

By: William F.  Huefner

For many, writing a Will and planning for the handling of your estate seems like a topic that can be pushed to the backburner. However, planning ahead and creating a Will is something that should be handled sooner rather than later. With the help of trusted professionals, it’s easy.  Continue reading our blog and find out how you can ensure a strong plan for your estate.

When Is the Right Time to Write a Will?

The short answer is right now. As long as you are at least 18 years old, you are in a position to write a Will. Experts recommend that every adult should have a Will regardless of their age and health. A few other life-changing events that provide a good reason to write a Will are accumulating a large sum of money, getting married or divorced, when you have children, and when you start a business. Many factors can be protected with a Will. Make sure you and your family are not caught off guard without one.

Writing Your Will

  • Itemize Your Inventory

The first step towards creating a Will is itemizing your assets. Start off by making a list of your assets, i.e., bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, real estate, etc. Keep in mind that certain assets, like family businesses, require special provisions in estate plans.

  • Determine Beneficiaries

Although this part of the planning process is the most emotional, it’s important to document how you want your assets distributed and to whom they should go to. If you have young children, you have the opportunity to stagger distributions through the use of a trust, this way kids receive their funds at a later age or throughout time.

  • List Your Debts

To ensure your family is not caught off guard, make a list of current debts. This should include auto loans, mortgages, home equity lines of credit, and all credit cards.

  • Designate an Estate Administrator

An estate administrator will be in charge of administering your Will when you pass away. It’s important to select someone who is responsible, mentally fit, and able to make medical decisions on your behalf.

  • Find An Attorney

Barna, Guzy & Steffen can assist with the preparation of documents and development of your Will. Whether you work with William F. Huefner, Cathryn D. Reher, or Bobbi Hermanson-Albers, you will be met with understanding, professionalism, and expertise.

At Barna, Guzy & Steffen, our trusted team of estate planning attorneys understands the importance of planning for the future. We can assist with the preparation of documents such as Wills and trusts, as well as developing a plan designed to avoid family and business conflicts and minimize the payment of taxes and expenses.