Byron Carlson Petri & Kalb, LLC | attorneys at law

3 facts about wills

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2024 | Estate Planning & Probate

The first thing most people draft as they make their estate plan is a will. A will is a legal document that, simply put, organizes how an estate should be managed after the person who drafted the will passes away. Typically, a will instructs that assets go to beneficiaries. 

If you have never made a will before, then it can help to learn a few facts before drafting your first one. Here is what you should know:

Fact 1: You do not have to share the contents of your will

A will is a complicated legal document often with a lot of personal decisions as to who should benefit from your assets, settle your estate or manage your health and financial decisions. You may fear that family members can challenge your decisions if they find anything out about your will. You do not need to reveal any information to beneficiaries. But, you may want to talk to your executor of the estate or power of attorney as you draft your will.

Fact 2: You can name multiple beneficiaries 

With a will, you can name any number of beneficiaries. Beneficiaries can include a spouse, children, siblings, parents, friends, co-workers and charities. Naming multiple beneficiaries can make decisions more meaningful. 

Fact 3: Dying without a will is called intestacy

Intestacy happens when someone dies without a will. If you do not have a will, the state is responsible for managing your estate. The state may not know your last wishes. Therefore, assets may be distributed to people other than your beneficiaries, which can go against your wishes.

You do not need to draft your estate plan by yourself. Legal guidance can educate you on your estate planning options.