Writing a will is a pivotal aspect of your life. Whether you’re young or old, this legal document helps you round up your assets and decide where you want them to go. A will is your last testament, so the details on paper must be accurate and relevant to the court. Typing any legal document is a hefty process. You have to be precise, not leave information out, and assume that the appointed lawyer understands what you mean.
Therefore, you must know what needs to go into your will. While you may feel intimidated, don’t be. Once you understand the critical features of goodwill, drafting one up will be no problem. Make sure you get your paperwork right on the first try. Read on:
Before You Begin
While you can write your will by yourself, it is best to hire a lawyer instead. A will has to be following the state laws. So if you’re doing a DIY will, you’ll first have to figure out if your state allows a handwritten one or do you have to type one up. You also need several witnesses to sign your will along with your signature. On the other hand, a lawyer can save you the hassle of falling into a rabbit hole when learning about managing a will. They will inform you about every aspect of death will and then walk you through your beneficiary’s taxes.
What Goes Into A Will?
A will has all the details of your life, including how this legal document gets executed. Of course, details can vary depending on how much you own, but the basics are as follows:
- Information About You
When starting any legal document, you have to introduce yourself. Your full name and aliases commonly referred to as name, address, and date of birth, initiate the will. You may also include why you’re writing this document and other legal documents along with this one that impacts the will. You also need to have the date you want this testament to become effective. This allows the court or the executor to carry out your wishes as requested.
- A Round-Up Of Your Assets
Assets are anything valuable that you own. These can be properties, cars, money, jewelry, houses, and even rare collectibles like discontinued action figurines. The monetary value your possessions have makes them an asset. If you have any assets you own with a business partner or spouse, those are joint assets.
Since you’re not the sole owner of this asset, your spouse or partner gets your side of the share once you pass. If there are multiple shareholders, your portion gets divided among them. You need to prove that it belongs to you for assets abroad or in a foreign country and decide who will inherit it. The general format when discussing your asset will include the name of the valuable, estimated worth, the name of the beneficiary, and when they will receive it.
- Dive Into Dealing With Minor Children
If you have minors and are not recognized as legal adults by the law, they need an appointed guardian who will care for them. Choosing a guardian is a complex process. Generally, if your children have godparents, they will assume the role after your passing. However, you are well within your rights to appoint a guardian for them of your choosing.
Your will acts as instructions for the person you plan on leaving your children with. It includes defining the guardian’s relationship with the child and how actively involved they were. Also, mention the assets you’re leaving behind for your children, the education you want them to get, the schools you wish for them to attend, and more.
- List of Beneficiaries
When you decide who will inherit your assets, these are known as beneficiaries. They can be a charity organization, people, individuals, and even your pet. The way your assets will pass on, including how much at a time, depends on you. You may also impart your inheritance as a gift or name a person has a shared owner into your establishment.
In some instances, your beneficiary, such as a family member, may pay additional taxes after they inherit your property. So you may want to ensure you include money for taxation in your will. Minors only get their share once they’re of legal age, which varies according to the state, and an executor either appointed by you or the legal system will hand it over to them.
- Navigating Through Complicated Relationships
Unfortunately, not every family’s circumstances are linear. You may have estranged family members, children you disowned, a divorced ex-partner, or a family member with special needs. These relationships can make writing your will slightly complex. Unless you deal with these extenuating circumstances drafting your last testament can be tedious.
Your lawyer may help you mediate through the situation by soliciting a conversation with the other party or providing you with a pathway to exclude people with minimal hassle. But your will needs to mention why you wish to bypass these individuals and how the law should deal with them if they plan on filing a claim.
- Picking An Executor
The final step is appointing a person or an institute to carry out your wishes. These are known as executors. These professionals or certified establishments can manage your affairs once you pass away, ensuring all your beneficiaries get their share in due time. You can make a family member into your designated executor or let your lawyer do it.
As long as the person is trustworthy, responsible, accountable, and understands their role without delaying the process, they’re good enough to handle your will. Then, get the relevant signatures and submit your document once you’re happy with what you’ve drafted.
Penning down your will can leave you feeling overwhelmed, especially when you have much to go over and decide. However, with the help of a trusty lawyer, you’ll draft up goodwill in no time. While writing your testament is lengthy, the accuracy of the details is imperative. So make sure you take all of this information into account before making your will.