8 Expert Tips to Know When Drafting a Last Will and Testament
Regarding estate planning, the last will is an essential document. This document allows you to designate how your assets will be distributed after death. Drafting a last will can be a complex process. There are many factors to consider, such as who will inherit your assets and how they will receive them. To help you draft a last will and testament that meets your needs, we’ve compiled a list of eight expert tips.
1. Choose an Executor Wisely
Choosing an executor is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when drafting a last will. This person will be responsible for carrying out your final wishes. Choose someone you trust implicitly to handle this important task. This person should be organized, responsible, and level-headed.
2. Be Clear and Concise
When drafting your testament, it’s important to be clear and concise. This document should be easy to understand, so there is no room for interpretation. To achieve this clarity, you should use simple language and avoid jargon.
3. Know Your State’s Laws
Every state has its specific laws regarding last wills and testaments. As a result, it is important to familiarize yourself with the requirements in your state before drafting your document. Otherwise, there is a risk that your will may not be considered valid. For example, some states require witnesses to sign the will to make it legal, while others do not.
4. Include a Pourover Will
A pour-over will is a critical part of estate planning, yet it is often overlooked. A pour-over will allow you to transfer any assets not already in your trust to that trust after your death, ensuring that all of your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Many people mistakenly believe trust can only include specifically named assets in the document. However, a pour-over will allow you to include any assets acquired after the trust is created.
5. Name Alternate Beneficiaries
Include alternate beneficiaries in your last will if your primary beneficiaries predecease you. This will ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
6. Make Sure Your Will is Signed and Dated
Your testament is not valid unless it is signed and dated by you and two witnesses. Choose witnesses who are disinterested parties, meaning they stand to gain nothing from your death.
7. Store Your Will in a Safe Place
Once your will is signed and dated, store it in a safe place where it can be easily found after your death. You may want to give your executor or lawyer a copy.
8. Review Your Will Regularly
Your circumstances will change, so it’s important to review your testament regularly. Update it as needed to ensure that it reflects your current wishes.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your last will and testament are valid and up-to-date. This will give you peace of mind knowing that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes.