While death is still a scary concept to wrap our heads around, many have realized the importance of writing their wills before their time comes. Most Americans die without writing their will, mainly because they are afraid to face their own mortality, leaving a room for the state to determine how their assets will be distributed. So it’s better to get to it right now with these five pieces of advice.
- List Your Properties
Sit down and list all your properties and assets first. Then you need to think carefully about who should receive what with their addresses and numbers. Experts advise seeking the professional help of attorneys who specializes in trusts and estate planning. Susan McDonald from Wills At Your Home, a solicitor wills creator of 14 years, suggests that your attorney should provide legal advice, as well as comfort and trustworthiness of what can be a difficult time in your life. Don’t forget to include life insurance, retirement accounts, and your children’s guardian.
- Name the Executor
The executor should be someone that you trust will make sure to outline your estate plan and that your will must be respected and done correctly. People usually choose their spouse to execute their will. However, you should name an alternative as well. Choosing your attorney to execute your will is a smart move that you should definitely consider. Choose whomever the person you trust the most to respect your wishes.
- Leave Your Last Words
Aside from your official will, you should leave a note to your loved ones with your last words. Grieving is hard enough; writing a letter that includes all your preferred personal instructions will make it easier for your beloved ones to not overwhelm themselves with a lot of decisions. The letter should include funeral arrangements, where you keep your important documents, account numbers, social media account passwords if you would like for them to be deleted, and any items that you left outside the will.
- Make Sure Your Will Is Valid
Your lawyer could help you review your will and make sure that it’s valid. Here is where your lawyer comes in handy by proving you were in a sound mind when you wrote your will. Sometimes, lawyers change the wording of your will to make it sound more specific, clear, and logical to prove that the testator was in his right mind when he wrote the will. If the testator has any disease that affects their intellectual capacity after writing their will, their attorney should be able to prove that the estate plan was written and planned before the injury or the disease.
- Make Sure Your Estate Plan Is Complete and Contest-Proof
There are a lot of instructions that need to be included in your will. Have you thought about whether you want to donate your organs or not? Do you want to exclude certain family members from your will, and can you? Have you considered leaving money for the funeral expenses? There are many questions that you need to answer in your will.
Your lawyer should make sure that you will include all the instructions and answers. Attorneys also make sure that you will conform to the law requirements to avoid any challenges.
Your will symbolizes the last words you would like to say to this world. It secures how your assets will be distributed after death to ensure the safety of your legacy. Your final instructions, who will be the guardian of your kids, and how your properties will be disposed of.
No one can alter your will post-death unless you will fail to obey the requirements of the law.