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How To Decide How Your Assets Should Be Divided In Your Will

Elderly man in suit working on his will and assets using a laptop computerBy Meghan Belnap

Making a will is among the most important things you can do for your loved ones. It ensures that your assets are distributed in the way that you desire and can help to prevent family disputes after your death. A difficult decision that you will have to make when creating your will is how to divide your assets. This is especially true if you have a large estate. Here are some factors to consider.

Use Your Discretion

First, it’s up to you how to divide your assets. You can distribute your assets equally among your heirs or give specific assets to specific people. You can also leave your assets to charity or use them to settle your debts.

Understand Estate Planning

Second, the division of assets is different from estate planning. Estate planning is a strategy for managing your assets and may apply both during your life and after you pass away. In contrast, a will specifies what will happen to your assets after you die, as well as who will be your heirs and guardians.

Consider Taxes

Third, the way you leave your assets can have tax implications. If you leave everything to your spouse, for example, there may not be any estate tax due. However, if you pass assets to your children, a gift tax may be due.

Evaluate Non-Cash Assets

Fourth, the value of each asset and how you will divide them are key to consider when dividing assets. If, for example, you own a house worth $200,000 and have two children, you might want to designate selling the house to give each child $100,000 from the house.

Don’t Forget About Debt

Fifth, if you have debt, you’ll need to decide how you will repay it. You can either leave specific assets to pay off the debt or leave cash. The process of dividing your assets in a will can be complicated, which is why you’ll need a will lawyer to look at all your options and make the right decision.

Conclusion

Besides these five factors, you may also need to think about any special considerations that need to be made for certain assets. If you own a family business, for instance, you’ll need to decide how to keep it in the family. Additionally, you may need to decide on things like pets and heirlooms. You should take the time to consider all your options when deciding how to divide your assets. A will attorney can aid in this decision. They will take all factors into account to help you make the best decision for you and your specific situation.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being outdoors and researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

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