If you are an adult, then you need to write a will. Having an estate plan is just part of the package of being a grown-up person. So you may be wondering what exactly is involved in writing a will anyway? Do you just write down what you want on a notepad, sign it, and leave it at that? Or do you need to write it and then get it officially notarized? The process of writing a will is more complicated than this, but it’s also fairly straightforward. As a wills lawyer offers, here are some tips to consider when writing the first draft of your will.
What do you want to include in your will?
Take a look around your home and outside of it, and write down all of the items that you see. You may have initially thought that you didn’t have many assets, when in fact you do. Everything from non-valuable items to your vehicle and property are considered assets. There are assets that are non-tangible too, such as your retirement accounts and life insurance policies. So if you have any of these, then after you pass away they will need to be distributed to someone else. Make a list of your assets and then you can move on to the next step to decide who gets what.
Who do you want to receive what?
Think about who you want to give your stuff to. What would you want your partner, your children, your family, and your friends to have? Once you have your list of assets, then you can write names next to those assets based on who you want to receive which items. Write down the names of the people that mean the most to you and who you want to inherit your belongings. Then consider how you want to divide up your assets to those you care about the most. Keep in mind that you can also transfer assets to a charity organization if you so wish. Although uncommon, this may even include your divorced ex or estranged family members.
Who do you want to carry out your wishes?
After you pass away, you won’t be around to ensure that your wishes are carried out. So what you will need to do is choose an executor for your will. As your lawyer would recommend, such as the team from Carpenter & Lewis PLLC, this person is someone that you trust to make sure that your wishes, as stated in the will, are carried out. This person is going to be responsible for paying off your debts, having property appraised and sold, transferring property to beneficiaries, submitting reports to probate court as required, and more. Your executor should be someone who is ethical and would always have your best of interest at heart.
Writing the first draft of your will doesn’t have to be complicated, as a rough draft outlining your wishes is the best way to begin. After that, you may consider meeting with a lawyer who has experience in family law and estate planning matters to assist you further.