For most people, wills are not necessary. What they don’t know is that wills are important legal documents that will ensure all your wishes are carried out in the event of your death.
Regardless of your age, work, or economic status, creating a will is one of the most critical estate planning actions you could do right now. If you die without a will, you’ll die as an intestate, meaning it will be upon the state to decide where your things and properties go. Usually, the results of their decision are often not to your liking.
Here are some legal things you need to know about wills.
1. You Can Go to an Attorney or an Online Legal Service
Many online legal services offer help in creating a basic and official will, like Willed. Drafting a will through online legal services can take a couple of minutes or so. It’s easier and hassle-free, plus they offer legal advice from real lawyers.
But if you have complex financial arrangements that include real estate properties, investments, and trusts, it’s recommended to consult a real estate planning attorney for help on making a will.
2. Designate an Executor
You must designate an executor when creating a will. The executor will be in charge of handling your estate and ensure that all your wishes stated on your will are carried out in the event of your demise. Choose an executor whom you trust implicitly, someone responsible and organized, especially when handling an estate that involves a lot of paperwork.
Talk to the person you’re going to choose as an executor ahead of time and make sure that they’re willing to accept the role when creating a will. If they agree with the role, make sure they know where to find the pertinent documents, including your will, insurance policies, and passwords for your online financial accounts if you have them.
3. Wills Cover All Your Estate
Wills cover all the real and personal property of a testator (a term used to call a person creating a will). This means you’ll want to have a complete list of persons who will be your beneficiaries.
Real properties include land, houses, buildings, and other immovable properties you own. Personal properties include jewelry, family heirlooms, bank accounts, stocks, and similar items.
Keep in mind that you can only give what you own under your name. So, if a particular property is owned by two or more people, you can only bequeath your share to your beneficiaries.
4. Decide Who Will Be Your Beneficiaries
You also have to be very clear as to who will be your beneficiaries. The beneficiaries are the people who’ll be inheriting your estate according to your will. Usually, beneficiaries are often family members or the people closest to you.
You should also take into consideration unexpected situations or events such as both you and your spouse dying at the same time. The clearer you are with your wishes in your will, the better it’ll be for your beneficiaries.
5. Designate A Legal Guardian For Your Minor Children
Even if the chances of it are happening are very slim, your will should also include the designation of a legal guardian for your minor children in case you and your spouse meet an untimely death.
You should think of trusted people you want to raise your underage children so you can name them as legal guardians. You might also want to include a second choice in case your first choice will not take the responsibility of looking after your children. Also, make sure you talk to your chosen legal guardians first before listing them on your will.
Dying without a will is a stressful and difficult situation for your surviving loved ones. You’ll be doing them a huge favor by sparing them from stress and potential trouble by creating a will in advance. Once you have a will, all of your wishes will be sorted out properly and legally. Just remember, though, that for all your wishes in your will to be carried out and executed according to the laws of your state after your death, you must be of sound mind and under no duress when creating the will.