When the time comes to create a will, when the time comes to dive into the finer details of your estate plan, you don’t want to wait another day. You are not required by law to create a will, but it goes a long way in ensuring that your estate is distributed in the appropriate manner upon your passing.
Many people understand the importance of creating a will. Even so, this doesn’t mean you realize what you should and should not be doing. It is common to make mistakes when creating a will, which will have a negative impact on your loved ones in the future.
Your goal is simple: to create a will with success. If you are able to do so the first time around, you won’t have anything to worry about in regards to this in the future.
Simple Steps You can Take
Despite the fact that there are many questions to answer, as long as you know which steps to take you will be in good position to put this behind you once and for all.
Here are a few simple steps that deserve your attention:
- Decide what property to include in your will. There is nothing more important than this, so make it priority number one as you get started.
The first thing you should do is list out your assets. From there, decide what property to include. For most, this is simple. They include all their assets in the will and leave it at that.
- Decide who gets what. It’s one thing to list out your assets and decide which ones to include in your will. It is another thing entirely to decide who will inherit your property.
For most people, the decision of who gets what is pretty cut and dry. For example, if you are married you may want to leave everything behind to your spouse. Or if you are unmarried, everything will go to your children.
You have the right to leave your assets to whomever you please, so put some time into this process.
- Choose an executor. It is required that you name somebody to serve as the executor of your will. This person is responsible for carrying out the terms set forth by the will, within the limits of the law.
Not only do you need to choose an executor that is willing to take on the responsibility, but this person must be 100 percent trustworthy and responsible.
- Name a guardian for any minor children. Do you have children under the age of 18? If so, name a guardian in your will. This is the person or people you want to raise your children if you pass on.
- Sign your will in front of witnesses. This is a step you don’t want to overlook. You are required to sign your will in front of a minimum of two witnesses. Neglecting to do so could cause a lot of trouble for your loved ones in the future. For example, it could make life difficult during a will contest.
Final tip: don’t forget to store your will in a safe place. Furthermore, tell your executor where he or she can find the will when the time comes. It doesn’t do you any good to create a will if nobody can find it once you are gone.
There is a lot that goes into creating a will. Additionally, no two people are dealing with the same details when doing so. That said, you can follow the five tips above to ensure that you are on the right track.
Has the time come to create a will? Are you ready to take on this process? If so, you may believe that the “do it yourself” option is the best way to go. Unfortunately, there are many pitfalls associated with this. To better understand why this is a bad idea, read our report entitled “Dangers of Do-It-Yourself Wills and Living Trusts.”
It won’t be long before you realize that there are better ways to create a will or living trust. In the end, what matters most is that you are 100 percent comfortable with your will.