Sooner or later, all of us will have to write a will. Knowing that your family will be financially stable after your death can be very comforting. If your will isn’t written properly, however, then your family could end up not being able to access your money. This may lead to members of your family who you don’t like getting their hands on your assets and wealth after your death. By carefully planning and writing your will, you ensure that your family is taken care of.
Here is how to write a will the right way, according to the experts:
Types of Wills
There are different types of wills. If you aren’t careful in selecting which type is right for you, your family and estate could suffer. The main types of wills are simple wills, living wills, and joint wills. There are others, however. The best way to learn about these different types is to contact a lawyer. It is inadvisable to plan your estate and write your will yourself. If you aren’t a trained legal professional, then mistakes are inevitable. Estate planning attorneys are very affordable and can help with every step of the will writing and estate planning process.
Before you begin writing your will and planning your estate, you should get a complete estate valuation. This will help you with deciding who you will leave things to, and why. Estate valuations are fairly inexpensive and are very effective. Most estate planning attorneys will be able to arrange an estate valuation for you, for an added fee, of course. Make sure to be completely transparent about all of your assets when you are having your estate valued, otherwise you will not get an accurate and total estimate. You also need to be very open about all of your debts.
Before you begin planning your estate, you should work out whether you want to leave a donation to a charity. Many people find the idea of leaving charitable donations behind them very nice because it is one final good deed. Instead of being forgotten, they will be remembered by the charities to whom they have left money. Many charities will erect statues or put plaques down in commemoration of people who leave them donations as part of their estate. Carefully think about which charities and causes mean a lot to you so that you can make a good decision regarding donations.
It’s also advisable to have an open dialogue with your friends and family when you are writing a will. Many people write their wills in a cloak and dagger fashion, keeping the contents of their will a secret from the people who it will affect. This isn’t something that you should do. Instead, sit down with your loved ones and talk them through your will, explaining who will be receiving what, and why you are giving it to them. This will save your family any nasty surprises, especially if you are writing people out of your will or leaving assets to a person that they haven’t met before, such as a distant relative or friend.
You also need to carefully choose your will’s executor. In many cases, the same lawyer who arranges and writes your will for you will also act on your behalf as an executor. This is a very good idea because it ensures that all of your assets will be properly distributed. If you choose a person who isn’t reliable to be your executor, then your family may run into problems trying to claim their inheritance. If you aren’t going to name a lawyer as your will’s executor, then make sure that you choose a person who is reliable, consistent, and trustworthy.
If you have young children, then you must name a guardian in your will, otherwise, your children could be put into the care of the state or a relative with who they aren’t familiar. If you want your children to be looked after by a close friend who isn’t related to you or a distant relative, you must include this in your will, otherwise, the chances of your children going to them are slim. Your children are likely your biggest concern, so don’t overlook their care. Lots of people do not include guardians in their wills because they are young and don’t think that it is necessary. However old you are, if you have young children, then you must name a guardian for them.
Another thing to think about if you have young children is their futures. When you are writing your will, you must take their education and future security into account. Make sure to specify in your will that you want a savings account opened for your children to pay for their education, assuming that you die before they go to college. You may also want to consider adding clauses in your will, limiting the amount of money that your children receive and are able to spend each year, to save them from wasting their inheritances.
In addition to opening savings accounts and paying for your children’s education, you might also want to consider investing your family’s inheritance for them. Investing in your family’s inheritance will ensure that they have a stream of money coming in for the rest of their lives. You must, however, leave a little aside for them so that they can continue living comfortably and fund their lifestyles.
Signing Your Will
If you are going to write a will without a lawyer present, you must sign it in front of witnesses. It’s also advisable to have your will’s signing videoed. This will ensure that if anybody tries to dispute your will in its final form, that your family can present evidence of it being changed. This will also protect you in case any of your witnesses pass away or can’t be found when the time comes.
If you don’t carefully plan your will and write it properly, your family could suffer. Follow this article’s advice, implement its suggestions, and take great care in your will’s development. Your family’s future could be at risk if you don’t plan meticulously.