It's important to have a will, but if you aren't careful when you make one out it could cause even more problems than not having one in the first place. Wills are perfect for addressing some matters and not so great for others, so read on to learn about some issues that might be better addressed using a different method.
Your final arrangements: You would not be alone in thinking that a will is an appropriate location to discuss your funeral and burial plans, but when you consider the alternatives you might see how much better it might be to do that somewhere else. One big issue with this planning method is the assumption that your will can be easily located in time for the burial. If the will cannot be accessed because it's locked up in an attorney's office on a holiday weekend, then the plans may have to be ignored.
Better still, set your ideas and wishes out on an alternate piece of paper and include your family members in the planning of it. That way no one needs to be surprised and you can even provide them with a copy of your wishes. If you want to do one step more, you can make arrangements directly with a funeral home or crematorium and pay for the services ahead of time. Just make sure that your loved ones know where to find the paperwork when the time comes.
Planning for your pet: That cat or dog that is so beloved by you deserves some consideration after a death, but a will is a poor place to do so. Pets are considered property and are treated as such unless you make other plans. Instead, appoint someone you trust and who agrees to care for your pet and perhaps leave that person a sum of money to do so. You can also create something called a pet trust, which sets out your specific wishes for your pet's care and is used solely for that purpose.
Bequests with conditions: If you want to leave something to someone but only under certain circumstances you may need to take another route to do so. A will may be rendered invalid by such conditional bequests if the condition is considered illegal. A trust may be a better vehicle to get you what you want when it comes to ensuring that the money or property is not passed to someone until a certain milestone has passed.
Speak to an estate planning law firm to learn more.
I'll be up front: I have a criminal record. As someone who's spent lots--and lots--of time looking for a job in my life, I've gotten used to being up front with this fact. It's difficult to get hired with this on my record, and frankly, it never gets less scary to have to tell an interviewer about it. But that doesn't mean I'm unemployable. I'm a hard worker who can bring a lot to any company. And I also know what an employer needs to do for me. I know my rights. There's no federal law protecting me from discrimination due to my record, but there are plenty of state laws that make it a little easier for me. If you're looking for a job and you have a criminal record, read through this information. Protect yourself during a job search. Know your rights.