Indeed, creating a will isn’t what most people look forward to doing, and that is why 70% of Americans don’t write wills. It is uncomfortable to face the truth. However, things have changed, and making a will isn’t as uncomfortable as one would think.
Unlike common perception creating a will can prevent family conflicts, minimize confusion and ensure your assets go to the people you love and care about. It also gives you greater control over your legacy. Here are some things to keep in mind while you make a will.
The Kind of Will You Require
There may be different wills, but a simple will, or testament, is all you need to get your last written communication to your loved ones right. If you are unsure, you can gauge different wills and find out the one that is best for you.
If you own a lot of assets, own a business, or may even have a complicated estate, a living trust may also turn out to be a better option for you. An estate attorney, in this case, can help you make the decision.
One of the most common mistakes that individuals make when planning the estate is they fail to update beneficiaries on key accounts that work as per the plans outlined in the wills. Select the beneficiaries on all the bank accounts, the house, the life insurance, the house that controls everything.
Select the Executor
The executor of your will is the person who will read your will and carry out all of your final wishes. They will distribute the properties to your beneficiaries and pay off any debts you may have and more if you want to nominate an executor. You have to state the name in your will. You have got to choose reliable, trustworthy, and get their job done in an organized way.
Most people nominate their spouse, their adult child, or a friend they trust as the executor. It may put additional pressure on the people they are grieving; in that case, you can allot an accountant or attorney in their place. You can always keep a backup executor, especially the one you select, who chooses to back out.
Choose a Guardian for Your Kids
It’s important for individuals who have children dependent on them to enlist a guardian in their wills. While you do not have to ask permission before naming someone as a guardian.
Many people name multiple guardians if one of the guardians you choose does not accept the guardianship responsibility.
Sign Your Will Before Witnesses To Make it Legal
This step is also very important. Once you finish the will, you may have to sign it in your handwriting to give it the legal touch. Most states have a set of rules on how many witnesses you can have when you get witnesses on board. It is usually two witnesses who will be there when you sign on the dotted line. Remember, your witnesses cannot be your executor, guardians, or anyone who may inherit something from your will. But someone you know and trust, such as your roommates, neighbors, or other friends.
Distribution Of Your Assets
It’s important to think about how your assets will be distributed. It can create a major difference between children. So it is important to distribute your tangible and intangible assets equally, as much as possible! Otherwise, there would be a lot of bad blood between the kids. Well, you don’t want strained relations after you are gone. So, you have to tread with care.
Attach an Explanatory Letter
Individuals also have the option of attaching an explanatory letter to their will. This can often serve the purpose of saying goodbye and getting into more details about some of your specific wishes.
Ideally, they will be people who are likely to live after your death. If something goes wrong and your will needs to get contested at the court, the judge can call a witness to testify. The number of witnesses you may need can change from state to state.
Making a will is one of the best ways to protect your loved ones, give back to the people you love, donate to the causes you love the most, and do it the right way to ensure that everything falls into place without any hint of trouble.