Irrespective of your age or your financial status, it is important to create a will so that you can look after your estate well. Having a last will, will help ensure that your wishes regarding the distribution of your property have been considered and followed in your absence. In case you die without a will, the state will then determine where your property will go and this might not be the way you wanted it to be. Not many are aware of what they need to consider when preparing a will, here are a few things that will help you sit down and write the will.
A personal representative or an executor is an individual who will be in charge of managing your estate. He should be someone you trust and who is organized and responsible. He should know how to handle a lot of paperwork and you need to talk to him well in advance so as to be sure that he is willing to accept the role. Make him aware of where the important documents are and also inform him of the passwords for all your financial accounts in various banks.
The will covers for personal and real property. This is why it is important to have a complete list so as to work out who will get what. Your real property will include land, immovable objects and houses while your personal property will include bank accounts, family heirlooms, stocks and jewelry. You need to understand that you can only bequeath what you own and if there is something you own jointly, you will only be able to give your share to someone else.
The beneficiaries in a will are the people who will be inheriting the personal and real property as per your will. They are the people who are closest to you but you also need to think about what would happen if you and your spouse died at the same time. Kim Mayberry from BeyondCounsel.io says that when creating a will, it is important to have it signed by witnesses to ensure that it will hold up in court. When you clearly express your wishes in the will, you will be able to ensure that it goes to the right person even in case of unlikely events.
In case of minor children, when one parent dies, the other gets the custody of the child but there are some cases where this is not true. Both parents could die at the same time and this is when you need to consider who would you want to raise your children. Hence, name a legal guardian for the minor children in your will. You also need to list down the second choice in case the top choice is unable to assume the responsibility. Talk to the guardians and be sure they agree to take up this responsibility.
For many, a pet is a family member and they are a personal property as per law. You can provide details about who should take responsibility of the pets and any special care instructions if needed. You need to speak to the responsible individual well in advance so as to ensure that they are willing to look after your furry members.
There are a lot of people who lead online lives and it is important to consider what would you like to happen to the social media account or your websites after you are gone. There are some sites like Facebook which have a built in provision for handling the page after you are gone and you can select the preferences now but you need to make your wishes known in the will. The executor will take care of your digital legacy just the way you would have liked.
The first step to creating an estate plan is to make a will and it is also the easiest way to divide your estate amongst your family members. Once you have considered about the issues mentioned above, you will be able to make a will within no time by simply filling the forms online. In order to have a Legal will, it should be executed as per the laws of the state and this means that the will should be signed in front of the witnesses. State requirements will vary based on the state you reside in and you need to ensure you follow the state’s law.