Creating a will or living trust is far more than just a legal process. It is an important way to extend your love, care and generosity to family and friends. It is also an excellent way to support the work of Vermont PBS.
So why have 67% of U.S. adults not created a will?* Perhaps the whole thing seems too time-consuming, difficult or even mysterious. To overcome these obstacles, review this helpful guide that gives clear answers to the questions you may have.
Did you know? 67% of U.S. adults have not created a will.
*2021 Caring.com study
Only you know the special circumstances of your family members and heirs, so it is important to discuss these factors with your estate planning attorney. However some common functions of a will include:
Creating a gift to Vermont PBS can be as simple as a single sentence in your will or living trust. An example to discuss with your attorney is, “I give to Vermont Public Co, 365 Troy Avenue, Colchester, VT 05446, (the sum of $___ or ___ percent of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate/trust) for its general purposes.”
Your attorney may suggest other components. Be prepared to talk about these items so you can walk away with a document that accomplishes your wishes.
While a will covers the majority of your assets, there are things that must pass outside of a will. Examples include payouts from life insurance policies, proceeds of retirement accounts, financial accounts designated as payable or transfer on death or commercial annuities. Discuss with a financial professional which of your assets may need to be addressed independent of your will.
If you die without a will, your estate will be divided according to laws in the state where you lived. The resulting transfer of assets may be very different from what you had wished. While certain family members will likely receive part of your estate, close friends or causes that you wanted to remember will not be included.
Be careful to store important papers where they are safe as well as reasonably accessible; do not put your original will or living trust in a bank’s safe-deposit box as it may be hard to access immediately after your passing.
Information contained herein was accurate at the time of posting. The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in any examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results. California residents: Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. Oklahoma residents: A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. South Dakota residents: Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.