If you have been trying to write a will and have all of your assets in order before your death, you may have heard lawyers using the term estate often. You may wonder what your estate actually is. An estate is simply any accounts, such as bank or investment accounts, property or other assets that you possess. Knowing what your estate is comprised of can help you when leaving instructions for your loved ones of how your possessions are to be divided when you are gone.
Bank accounts are a large part of your estate, and this can include checking, savings or investment accounts. It is wise to have a beneficiary on these accounts, as well as having that person listed in your will as the inheritor of the account. This can make the process of acquiring the account’s funds much easier. Keep in mind that many states also include any debts you may have acquired as part of your estate, so it is important that you are clear about your financial situation at the time of your passing so there will be no surprises for your inheritors.
Any large property such as houses or land is included in the parameters of your estate. Leaving specific instructions for how you want property divided can help your lawyers and family members after your passing, as they will know what your exact wishes were for the property allotments. You can include in your will that you want one person to inherit your home or land, or you can request that the profits from the sale of your property be divided among your surviving relatives.
Any other possessions that you own, such as cars, boats, or antiques are a part of your estate that should not be overlooked. You can treat these assets in the same way that you would your larger assets such as your home in that you can leave them to one specific person, or you can have the profits divided evenly among many.
Planning you will and getting your estate in order for after your death can seem like a dreary and daunting task; after, all, it is not typically a subject that many prefer to entertain. However, having clear directions for your lawyers and loved ones to follow after your passing can make the transition of dividing your estate a much smoother process. If you have been waiting to divide your estate in a legal will, do not wait any longer. Call your lawyer today to get started.