Preparing a will is not a headache as you might think. It is just the matter of customizing the standard required for a will to your own case. You can easily make a testament yourself by noting down bullet points in the below checklist:
1- Assets – What property will be included in your will?
It is always the best idea to make a list of your assets and specify the way you want to manage it before mentioning them in your will.
For assets under your title only, you can start listing from such big items as houses, businesses, vehicles, investments to smaller ones as family heirlooms, jewelry or luxurious products.
For jointly owned property in case you are married or in a legalized relationship, you cannot distribute them to other people.
For some assets that should be left with other methods or you might want to manage them in living trusts, you should also write it down to avoid possible missing.
2- Beneficiaries – Who will inherit your property?
Listing your beneficiaries may seem like an unnecessary step in the process, but remember that recent births, deaths, marriages, divorces, etc., may influence who you wish to include in your will. At this point, you don’t need to specify who you want to receive what; just focus on the people involved so you know you won’t be forgetting anyone.
Also know that disinheriting your spouse and/or children may not be possible in some jurisdictions.
In the event that your kids are minors, you can leave your property to the guardian until the children reach the age of majority
3- Executor – Who will handle your estate before distribution?
Every will must name a person to serve as executor, to manage your property and carry out the terms of the will. The appointed person should be well-informed about their task on a willing basis.
4- Guardian – Who will raise them?
This is of great importance to confide in someone to raise your kids in case of unlikely event, especially when they are minors.
5- Debts – How to settle?
Make a list of all of your debts, including but not limited to the following:
- Car loans/leases
- Credit cards
- Student loans
- Personal loans
- Outstanding taxes
These obligations become the responsibility of your estate after you die. Paying these bills is part of probate. Besides, though you won’t be leaving your debts to anyone in your will, it is helpful to get an idea of your estate’s overall financial status so you can plan accordingly regarding funeral expenses, probate costs, and taxes.
6- Will– Writing, Checking, Editing, Signing, Storing
If you have made up your mind carefully with the above items, you can easily start preparing and completing your last will. Kindly make sure to have expert consultant such as wills & probate lawyers or estate attorney to ensure your document complies with state laws.
After finalizing all required details, you need to sign in the will under least two witnesses. If you’re using a document called a “self-proving affidavit” with your will (to make things simpler when the will goes through probate court after your death), your signature must be notarized as well.
It is of no less importance to keep your will in a safe but accessible place for others.
Should you wish to change some terms in the last signed will or even replace with the brand new one. You can ask for standard procedures from your will lawyers