Tips for Thought

Critical Steps to Writing Your Last Will and Testament

Writing one’s will is a very sensitive topic, especially if you are approaching your near end. However bleak as it may sound, it is necessary to make these preparations for the future. One way to ensure your assets are managed well is by writing your last will and testament. Here are handy tips on how to do just that:

First, what is a Last Will and Testament?

Your last will and testament is a legal document expressing your final wishes concerning your assets. This official document includes instructions on what to do with your possessions once you pass. It will also indicate where you wish to leave your assets, whether it goes to a person, group, or organization.

How to write a last will and testament?

Ideally, it would be best to consult an estate planning lawyer to make your last will and testament. However, it doesn’t hurt to form a draft first. Some necessary steps include:

1. Provide information that identifies you personally.

While general and basic, this helps eliminate doubts if you wrote the will. You may include your name, address, social security number, and identifying numbers.

2. Specify your age and mental status.

Individuals writing their will must be sound of mind and of legal age. If you are above 18 years old, please state it clearly. Your mental status should be clear and sound, meaning you are psychologically well enough to write a valid will without question.

3. Select your executor.

An executor is a person who carries out the process of executing your final wishes, as stated. You entrust your will to this person, who must read it out after your passing and ensure your instructions are carried out. An executor can be any person; however, you must trust their judgment and integrity.

4. Specify who takes care of your dependents.

If you have children or dependents, it helps designate a person who will care for them. This step is to ensure that their futures are intact and they are taken care of.

5. Choose your beneficiaries.

This step involves identifying who gets a share of your property. For this area, it’s crucial to name the exact property item for each of them after you pass. Failing to be specific can lead to issues that makes it hard to execute your wishes.

6. Sign your will.

After finalizing your last will and testament, you must sign your will in accordance with your state’s laws. This step may be executed in front of a few witnesses.

7. Safeguard your will.

After finalizing your will, safeguard it in a reliable and secret location. Some examples include a fireproof safe, a deposit box, or a special place for essential documents.

8. Update or amend when necessary.

As time passes, so will your priorities. If you need to update or amend your will, do so with legal counsel to ensure you get the details sorted out.

Takeaway:

Learning how to write a will can be overwhelming but extremely important. If you need assistance with technicalities regarding your state laws, consider hiring legal counsel to smooth out the details.