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What Are Wills and How Do they Help in Estate Planning?

What Are Wills and How Do they Help in Estate Planning?

People struggle and work hard all their life to provide their family with the best facilities and to secure their future. There are many people who invest and save some money throughout their life to leave behind for their children once they pass away. The process by which this transfer of funds is arranged is called estate planning.

Opposed to how estate planning is considered to be practical only for the affluent class, it is actually important for everyone to have a property distribution procedure set in time, in case they pass away unexpectedly.

Estate planning is also known as asset planning and consists of several legal documentation processes that make sure that the deceased’s family doesn’t face any difficulty in accessing the estate left for them. The most common and important component of estate planning is a will which is explained below:

What Are Wills?

A will is a legal document that indicates the manner in which the testator’s estate would be distributed among those named, post their death. A person has complete autonomy on who they want to nominate in their will as an heir and beneficiaries. The beneficiaries don’t always have to be a family member but can be anyone named by the benefactor.

The estate planning instrument is more like a dying command that is implemented only after the death of the person. After the death of the person generating the will, a legal attorney oversees the allocation process to make sure that there is no corruption or malpractice while the property is being divided among those named.

Important Features of a Will

There are some important and basic features of a will that many people don’t know about such as:

  • Any person who is of the legal age of 18 or older can have a will made.
  • If all the heirs nominated in a will are minors, then a guardian must be named to look after the children and their estate until they are 18 and above.
  • Wills are revocable and can be altered by the benefactor at any point in time without any mandatory court permit.
  • The property, estate, funds and all other assets set to distributed are directly transferred to all those designated. Any legal body doesn’t have any control or influence on the allocation.
  • This type of estate planning is maintained in public records and anyone can view the contents of the document at any time and challenge the allocation if any foul play is sensed.

Wealth planning although is not taken seriously by many people, it still is very important for people to start considering estate planning to better secure their family’s future.

There are many professional firms around the state which have successfully carried out many such legal obligations. One of them is the Total Wealth Planning team that also provides free online consultations for your convenience.

Author: David D. Wilder, CFP® is a principal and chief investment officer at Total Wealth Planning, a fee-only fiduciary financial planning firm in Cincinnati (Blue Ash), Ohio. With over 30 years of experience, Dave leads the Firm’s Investment Policy Committee and Investment Management Team. As a highly-credentialed MST, CFP®, CTFA, and CEPA, Dave has been featured in numerous industry publications including Yahoo finance, the Business Courier, and Channel 12 Cincinnati News. Dave has been recognized as a Five-Star Advisor through Paladin Registry, a 2008 Reuters Top Advisor, profiled in Bloomberg Business Week magazine, and in 2011 was named one of the Top 50 Most Experienced Advisors in the United States. Dave can be reached at

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