Writing your will can be a daunting task. However, it’s essential to have a clear, direct will to make sure your family and estate is taken care of, even after you are gone. So, let’s explore how to write a great will.
Distribute Your Assets Now
One of the best ways to make sure your assets go where you want them to is to distribute them before your death. For example, if you want your classic car to go to your son, transfer the vehicle title to his name now. This way, you don’t have to worry about your children fighting over your things, or probate court causing problems. You can be sure your assets go to the people you want them to, because you are still around to supervise! Of course, this won’t be possible with all your assets–you’re still using some of them! But you’ll be better off distributing anything you can now, so you don’t have to worry about it in your will.
Name an Executor of Your Will
The “executor” of your will isn’t as grim as it sounds! This is the person you designate to execute your will. Usually, this consists of filing your will with probate court, and making sure your will is carried out the way you wanted. People often designate one of their children as their will executor. Be sure it is someone trustworthy, and that they know what you want them to do. Sometimes people designate more than one will executor, but this can complicate things, so be mindful of any potential conflicts if you choose to do so.
Inventory Your Assets
Make an organized inventory of everything you will be passing on to your descendants. This way, you can divide things equally and be aware of all of the assets you need to include in your will.
Name Your Beneficiaries
Who do you want each of your assets to go to? Clearly state these people in your will. You can designate more than one beneficiary for each asset, but again, this can lead to conflicts. If you own a valuable home, and you leave it to all of your children, how will this work? Will your children sell the home and divide the profits? What if one of your children wants to live in the home, but the others want to sell it? What if more than one child wants to live in the home? Consider the effect it may have before leaving one asset to multiple beneficiaries.
Include a Residuary Clause
A “residuary clause” designates what will happen with any of your assets that aren’t specifically included in your will. Even if you made a careful inventory of your assets, it’s inevitable that you’ll forget something, or just not feel it necessary to specify each individual item. You can specify who the remaining assets go to in your residuary clause. If you do not have a residuary clause, it will be up to the executor(s) of your will to decide what to do with your remaining items.
Sign Your Will in Front of Witnesses
Your will won’t be valid unless you have signed it in front of witnesses. When your will is executed by probate court, they will contact these witnesses to be sure your will is legitimate. You can avoid this step by signing your will in front of a notary. Notaries are present at most post offices.
Stellar Living hopes these tips will help you write a great will!