When you have assets that you want to distribute once you die, there are a number of ways that you can leave money, property, or other assets to your loved ones. While many people simply create a will giving away their assets when they are gone, others set up trusts, or add loved ones to existing accounts. How you want the money you leave distributed to your heirs will make a big difference in how you write your will and how you prepare your estate with an attorney. You can be as vague as you want in your will, or in the alternative you can be as specific as you want to be.
Money that is Distributed to Heirs Immediately
Money that you have in a shared bank account with an individual does not get counted as part of your estate. While you may have been the only contributor to a bank account, when there is a second, joint owner on the bank account, the funds belong to both of you. When you die, the money belongs to the other person who you put on the account. Other money that gets distributed to your heirs within a reasonable amount of time are funds from being the beneficiary of any life insurance policies that you may hold.
How to Give Money Out in Portions
Some people are worried about the spending habits of their children, and they don't want to leave their entire fortune for them to spend right away. It is possible to give money out slowly, by setting up a trust for your loved ones. The trust can have all kinds of parameters, from a trust that only pays for the education of a loved one, to a trust that gives out an amount of cash every month. If you are interested in setting up a trust to protect your assets from heirs that may not be responsible right away, you will need to talk with a probate lawyer about your options.
If you own a home, you can also create a life estate, which allows you to give your home away early to the heir. You are allowed to live in the home until your death, but the home belongs to the heir that you have left the home to. This can be useful when you are trying to reduce your assets, yet you still want to live in your own home.
When you are ready to prepare your estate, it's time to talk with an attorney, like David R Webb Attorney, that can explain all of your options.