Having a will is one of the most important requirements of every individual’s estate planning. However, many people do not have one, as it signifies that one is acknowledging their inevitable demise and actually planning for it. Having this kind of mentality is detrimental to your heirs, as it will cause them unnecessary hassle. You are supposed to state how matters regarding your estate will be handled when the inevitable occurs.
There must be a way that you would want your property sharing and management to be executed. A will gives you peace of mind in knowing that you can control who gets what property. You can write your own will without the help of any lawyer with the help of will writing kit. Failure to have one triggers intestacy laws, and the state will determine how your estate will be distributed. This law differs from state to state, and it is often lengthy. If you don’t want to leave your loved ones disgruntled by not getting a fair share of your lifetime achievements, then put your wishes in writing.
1- Identify Your Property
Before you get down to preparing your will by yourself or with a lawyer, take an in-depth inventory of your assets. Think about things like bank accounts, retirement funds, shares, digital assets, and anything else you possess. With this knowledge, you can easily determine who gets what, and that alleviates any ambiguity in the property distribution. Even if you do not have a lot, this information is crucial as it is the basis of a will.
2- Choose Your Beneficiaries
It might seem as if your spouse and children are the automatic beneficiaries, but certain changes might occur, and regular updates may be required. One thing that you should be mindful about is that designated beneficiaries of your key accounts such as life insurance, bank accounts, annuities, the house, and other places where you declared them the next of kin, supersedes the will. These beneficiary designations might require reviewing with the help of a lawyer.
3- Be Clear About Who Gets What
This is one of the most grueling tasks in writing a will, as you have to decide what asset to include and what to give to whom. A lot of considerations have to play a part here, especially if you have one asset such as a yacht that all your children are enthusiastic about. This kind of decision only requires your intuition in making a judgment on who deserves what because of factors like risk tolerance and the ability to nurture it.
4- Choose a Guardian For Your Children
It is important for any American adult that has dependent children to choose a guardian for them. In most cases, it is unnecessary to ask for permission from the chosen guardians, and you can choose more than one so that if the other one refuses, then there is an option. A critical thing to note is that a guardian and trustee should not be the same person. This is so that when the children grow up, they can do away with the trustee and choose how to manage their finances.
5- Pick the Executor
The executor of the will is often a family member or someone else that has detailed knowledge about what your estate includes. A reputable lawyer that is well versed in matters related to probates and wills could also execute it. The same lawyer can work with you throughout the entire process of writing your will.