Preparing Your Will: 8 Important Things to Include

While nobody wants to think about their death and leaving loved ones behind, it’s important to have a plan set in place for when the inevitable does occur. This is where your last will and testament comes in, and it’s never too early to put some thought into who will manage the distribution of your estate once you are gone. Here are eight things to consider when preparing your will:

1. Name your executor to manage the distribution of your estate.

Choose someone you trust to carry out your wishes as outlined in your will. You’ll want to specifically state in the will that you are granting them the right to manage your estate. This will prevent your beneficiaries from the time consuming and often confusing court appearances and proceedings.

2. Specify how your debts are to be paid.

Leave instructions for your beneficiary as to how to pay what you owe.

3. Choose whether or not debts will still be owed to you.

If anyone owes you money, clearly lay out whether or not you wish for your beneficiary to collect the money, or if the debts should be dropped.

4. Specifically, state the division of your assets.

Specify what should go to whom in your will. Create a separate list of assets and belongings, including the location of those assets for your beneficiaries and executor.

5. Name a guardian for your minor children.

If you have minor children, name a legal guardian(s) to care for them.

6. Identify yourself and state that this is your last will.

Make sure to include all necessary identifying information. If you’ve written up previous wills, make sure to state that this is your final will in order to overwrite previous wills.

7. Name a caretaker for any pets.

If you have pets, name a caretaker and allocate funds to them for continued care of the pets.

8. Find two witnesses to sign your will.

Have two witnesses with you to sign the will. Choose witnesses who are not beneficiaries, so it is clear that none of your decisions were coerced or made under duress.

The above are just a few basic guidelines to follow when creating your will. Of course, it’s wise to consult a lawyer when writing a will, but when it comes right down to it, all of the important choices are yours. With careful planning, having a completed will can help you rest easy when it comes to the future of your family and estate.

Drawing up a will doesn’t have to be stressful or time-consuming.

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