“If I die, what do I need to do?” It’s a question we don’t like to think about. While it’s not the most pleasant topic to think about, you must plan for your future. A Will is a legal document that determines how your assets are distributed at death.
We hope you never have to experience the loss of a loved one, but it is often hard to think about legal matters when we are grieving. The legal jargon, the legal terminology – it’s all just too much to take in. But making a Will doesn’t have to be complicated or confusing.
A legal document that dictates what should happen with your assets after you die, a Will is an essential part of estate planning for anyone with family members or other loved ones they want to provide for in their absence.
If you’re not sure where to start, this guide will walk you through the process of creating a valid last Will and testament for yourself or someone else so you can finally have peace of mind knowing everything is taken care of legally by the local law firms.
Let’s get started.
- Choose Your Required Type Of Will
You must understand the types of Wills available to make an informed decision about what type of Will is right for you. While there are many different types of Wills, the most popular ones include Simple Will and Living Trust Will.
A Simple Will is a legal document describing how an individual’s assets should be distributed after death. At the same time, the Living Trust Will allows individuals with multiple assets to distribute them before they die and will require additional legal work on behalf of your family members.
- Choose Your Assets You Want To Put In Your Will
While you’re making your Will, make sure to enlist all your belongings and accounts. All these items should be appropriately titled in legal documents so the court can quickly identify them when it comes time for distribution.
The list must cover:
- Property (house, condo, coop including any real estate you own)
- Bank accounts (All retirement accounts should be listed here)
- Personal Belongings and Family heirlooms
- Life insurance policies specify who will receive the death benefit upon your passing.
- Decide Who Will Be The Beneficiary
The recipients who will receive all your assets are known as the beneficiaries. Besides your spouse and family, you could also make the beneficiary to your favorite charity or nonprofit. Also, if you have underage children, you should appoint a guardian for them in your Will.
Most importantly, whatever is on the title or deed can’t be overridden by the beneficiaries you choose in your testament and last Will. A living trust attorney Will be able to help you with legal advice on this matter.
- Select Your Will Executor
You can choose a legal representative, legal help firm or even family members to be the executors of your Will. When deciding upon your executor, make sure that they are level headed and reliable as they’ll need to carry out any wishes by local laws. You can also have a backup executor if your primary executor isn’t available to fulfill their duty at a specific time.
- Sign Your Will
Legal validation of your Will is the most crucial aspect once you’ve created your Will. For this, you would require at least two witnesses who will sign the Will. They could either be your friends, neighbors or your peers.
- Constantly Update Your Will During Life Changes
It is always essential for you to keep your Will updated within every five years or if there has been any significant change taking place in your life.
- Shifting to another state
- Gaining legal custody of your children
- Death of an executor or beneficiary
The Bottom Line
Will-drafting is a legal process that anybody can do, but it’s much easier when you have the support of legal professionals. Thus, if you wish to contribute and protect your loved ones, you must make a Will and store it in a safe place so that your beneficiaries can access them.