Being a legal declaration, a will is typically made for making dispositions of property to take effect on or after a person’s death. A will is a personalized legal document and can be made for appointing those that one wishes to manage any part of their estate. Specific protocols exist for drafting a will, specific to a country, state, and province and similar areas.
A will must adhere to the rules and regulations of your place of residence. You can write your own will out from scratch (you must be of legal age to write a will). You can also buy a self-help will kit. Furthermore, you can have an entity such as LegalZoom or others draft a will for you to your requirements. Regardless of what route you take, here are 5 things to consider when creating your will:
1. Decide Whether You Need a Basic or More Complex Will
If you require a simple will, you can create your own or use a will kit with organized forms. However, if you have more advanced provisions that need attention then consider reputable estate and probate attorneys. Their experience and knowledge ensures you will have the will that addresses all your estate concerns in all their intricacies.
2. Choose an Executor
This is a crucial decision on your part. Choose someone you trust very much. This person will be responsible for carrying out your wishes. Your executor is responsible for ensuring the commands in your will. He or she is additionally responsible for paying the debts associated with your estate, as well as assembling, and dispensing your assets.
3. Focus on Your Children
Make sure you devote time to ensuring your will takes care of the needs of your children. Consider appointing guardians. Typically, the surviving spouse will assume parental responsibility. Usually, appointed guardians assume responsibility if both parents die.
Concerning unmarried couples, if the one partner dies, the other partner does not automatically get guardianship. Therefore, it’s extremely important each appoint each other to avoid problems.
4. Make a List of Personal Property
Come up with an accurate and detailed property list. You then attach this to your will. What’s great about a property list is that you can modify it at any time. You don’t have to rewrite the entire will; you just make changes to the list as concerns asset dispensing.
If you have international assets (overseas), include them in this list. Do this if you are not creating a separate will for these overseas assets. Seek advice from a lawyer on the best way to handle the disposition of your overseas assets.
5. Be Specific
To avoid misunderstandings, confrontations, confusion, and arguments, be very specific in your will. You may desire to leave certain valuable items to certain immediate family members, or relatives, friends, or other individuals. Be very precise and clear as to what the exact asset is and to whom you want to receive it. Give as much detail as possible. This makes the disposition of your assets an easy and smooth process.
A properly constructed will contributes to peace of mind. The creation of your will is one of the most vital decisions and actions you will make in your life. You’re taking responsibility for your affairs. You guarantee your wishes will be precisely followed to benefit family members and others important to you.
The articles are written by personal finance enthusiasts (not certified professionals) based on their personal experience. What works for them may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
In accordance with FTC guidelines, we disclose that we have a financial relationship with companies mentioned in this website. This may include receiving access to free products and services for product and service reviews and giveaways.
Any references to third party products, rates, or websites are subject to change without notice. We do our best to maintain current information, but due to the rapidly changing environment, some information may have changed since it was published. Please do the appropriate research before participating in any third party offers.