10 Things You Need To Consider When Writing A Will
This article will give you a list of 10 things you need to consider when writing a will. Also, you may hire an attorney or write it yourself and then get an attorney to review the document.
However, there are things that you need to know to make the document valid. They include having an executor and a trustee, inventory, non-probate property and so on. Many people don’t want to consider a situation that is as certain as death. Also, they procrastinate about writing a living will when anybody could be incapacitated and that document will speak for them.
However, if you don’t write a will, you might create a crisis when you are no longer around. So it pays to write a will when you are of sound mind.
Things You Need To Consider When Writing A Will
Below are things you need to put into consideration when writing a will:
1. Hire a Lawyer or Write it Yourself?
I know some people who like to do everything on their own would like to write their own wills personally. But this is not advisable because it is a delicate document that has a format and must follow some rules strictly. However, if you are a DIY person, write it but take the finished document to a lawyer to check and make sure it meets your state’s laws so that it is valid.
2. Name an Executor
Pick a trusted executor who could be your lawyer or a close friend or relative when writing a will. Who is an Executor of a will? It is this person that will carry out all of your instructions on the written document or will. Also, this person will pay all of the bills, hand over all of the assets, and complete all other things.
3. Name a Guardian and/or Trustee
You should choose a guardian or trustee if you have young children or pets. You do this to make sure there is a trusted person that will look after them when you are no longer around. Also, you should get another person that will be the trustee for their estate or the property they will inherit in the future.
4. Make An Inventory Of Your Assets
When writing a will, first you have to know what you have, before you decide what you will give to anyone. So you should make a list of all of your physical assets, digital assets like Internet domains and social media accounts. Also, you can include everything no matter how trivial they may be.
5. Specific Bequests Are Usually Sentimental In Nature
You can give things that hold sentimental value out, first. But, you should note, that if any major changes occur in your estate before you die, it could have a big effect on the proportionality of the remaining gifts. You should also note that any monetary value of the gift is subject to an inheritance tax.
6. Non-probate Property
When writing a will, know what a Non-probate property is, so that you do not add them to the list of things you want to transfer on your will. You should also note that Non-probate property is any item that is not managed or controlled by the probate courts. These are joint property, insurance, and investment benefits.
So anything that is owned or titled jointly with beneficiaries or that will transfer naturally to the surviving joint owner is not to be added in the will. Do this properly and confirm these non-probate properties.
7. Joint Or Separate Wills?
It is better you have separate wills for married couples because joint wills may not be recognized by some states. Also, keep this in mind when you want to prepare a will. Besides, many lawyers will recommend separate wills if you are married.
8. Living Will – Yes Or No?
When writing a will, you may consider getting a living will or not. So the easy answer to that question is yes. Many people ignore preparing this document yet it is so important, especially at the end of life cases. For example, if you are unable to speak, a living will is an advanced instruction to healthcare practitioners to act on. This document is your healthcare power of attorney. And it will work according to your instructions when you are unable to speak.
9. Storing Your Will
You ought to keep your will in a safe place but make sure it is accessible. The reason is that probate courts normally need it before they can start proceedings. Also, you should keep a signed copy with your attorney or a close relative you trust.
10. How Often Should You Update It?
When writing a will, you must think about how often you will update it, to keep it fresh. Also, it is important you review your will every five years, or when a key life change happens. For instance, if your children are old enough then they do not need a guardian, or if a spouse is now an ex, or a beneficiary dies. In addition, you need to review tax laws or other state laws, that may have changed since you prepared the will originally.