In general, most people know that they need a will. Your will, also known as your last will and testament, is the document that will state your wishes in regards to your assets. This document gets read by the county court after you die and then your final wishes are carried out. The point of a will is to leave instructions about what should happen to your property. For instance, you decide who the guardians for your children will be, how your debts will be paid, who receives your property, and more.
If you’re prepared to start your estate planning journey, it can help to have a checklist of what to include in your will and how to begin.
Decide What to Include
The biggest thing that you have to do when it comes to writing your will is figure out what you are going to include in it. It’s important that you figure out which items need to be in the will and which ones you can leave out. Your will should always include any significant assets.
Decide Who Inherits Property
Once you know what you plan to include, you have to decide who inherits the property. Most people choose their spouse or children, but you should make sure that you include everyone that you want to. Once you make your first choices, you can also have alternate beneficiaries in case your choices do not outlive you.
Decide on an Executor
Your will must also include your executor. This is the person who will carry out your will. You should always choose someone who is responsible and prepared to take on this job. You do not want to surprise someone with being the executor.
Decide Who Takes Care of Your Children
If you have children, you need to include them in the will. Make sure that you have plans for who will be their guardian and what happens to their property when you die.
Draft Your Will
Once you’ve made the appropriate decisions it’s time to draft your will. It may help to speak with an estate planning lawyer at various points during your journey. He or she can ensure that your will is legally binding. When finished, you can sign your will in front of witnesses.
When it comes to your will, it is crucial that you have one drafted. If you already have a will, make sure that you update it regularly to ensure it is not out of date. For more information on drafting a will, consult with an estate planning attorney, like an estate planning attorney in Mesa, AZ, today.
Thanks to Citadel Law Firm for their insight into some of the basics about a will.