Creating a will is something every adult should do, especially if he or she is married, has children or other dependents or owns a property and other valuable assets. Most people do not like to think about their lives ending anytime soon, which, unfortunately, leads them to write their wills far too late or not at all. It’s better to learn how to write a will when you’re healthy, so there is no confusion should you ever be incapacitated or suddenly pass without making one.
Consider a will as a preventative measure. It does not signify that death is imminent. Rather, it protects your possessions and ensures that all of your possessions and funeral arrangements are handled according to your wishes.
Hire a Lawyer
When making a will, it’s important to make sure that it’s legally binding. This will help to make sure that your wishes are carried out the way that you want them to be. In order to make this a possibility, you need the help of a lawyer.
Lawyers often charge $400 an hour for their services, so consider what you can afford when writing a will. If you intend to work with an attorney when you write with your will, it’s best to research and prepare as much as possible to avoid overpaying. You can even come up with a preliminary draft that a lawyer can review and help you finalize, drastically cutting down the amount of time and money you’ll have to spend.
Use a Will Template
Will templates can make it easier for you to cover all the important bases and small details that may otherwise get overlooked. Your will should be titled “Last Will and Testament,” contain your full legal name and date of birth and start by declaring that you are of sound age and mind at the time of its writing. Most will templates have the necessary jargon already in place, so all you have to do is provide the relevant information related to your possessions and beneficiaries. These can be direct heirs or others to whom you would like to leave your belongings after your death. You should also include their full names to avoid any misinterpretations or confusion.
If you intend to disinherit one of your family members, make sure that you explicitly mention his or her name and your reason for excluding him or her from any inheritance. It can be beneficial to speak with a lawyer about the issue to ensure that it cannot be overruled by any state rules, such as the right of election.
Wills should be signed by two witnesses who are over 18 years old and not one of the beneficiaries. In most cases, states do not require a will to be notarized, but it may be found invalid if it is not signed and dated by two qualifying witnesses in addition to the person who created the will.
You should also appoint an executor, which is the person who will be responsible for handling your affairs after you die. Executors can also be witnesses, so only allow those who you trust the most to know about your will and anything contained therein. Be sure to store your will somewhere safe. If you need to amend this document, you must write what is known as a codicil and sign it with witnesses present.
Writing a will isn’t something that is on the top of everyone’s list of things they want to do, but it’s important to take care of. Whether you’re nearing the end of your life or not, you’ll want to make sure you make your will correctly so that your wishes are carried out the way you want them to be. Following the above steps will help you to make sure that it is all done the right way so you can rest easy when thinking about where your assets will be when you are gone.
Looking for more advice? Read more in this article: How to Determine When You Can Retire