Does creating a will seem like a daunting task? The below checklist makes collecting the information you are going to need easy and worry-free. Possessing a last will and testament guarantees your wishes are going to be followed, and your loved ones are provided for following your passing away.
It may seem like an intimidating task, but this easy-to-follow structure is going to help you collect everything you require to create a will.
After you have gathered all the information and paperwork you require, making your will is as easy as simply sitting down and creating it.
Who are going to be your beneficiaries?
When you are ready to create your last will, consider whom among your loved ones you would wish to inherit personal and/or real property from you.
Listing beneficiaries might seem needless, but don’t forget recent deaths, births, marriages, divorces, and so forth, may influence whom you want to include in your will. Up to this point, you do not need to specify whom you want to receive what; just concentrate on the people involved so you know you’re not going to be forgetting anyone.
Also remember that disinheriting your spouse and/or children might not be possible in some jurisdictions.
What are your assets?
Devise a list of significant assets you are going to want to leave to loved ones. Begin with the big items like vehicles, houses, and family businesses, and then work down to smaller things such as paintings or family heirlooms.
Some assets can’t be bestowed through a will (or might be better managed in another way like a living trust), but up to this point, you need to get all the assets documented so you know what you are dealing with.
When listing your assets, don’t forget you can only allocate property you solely own. Meaning, when you are married and your spouse retains joint title on an asset, you can’t leave that property to somebody else in your will.
List your liabilities
Make a list of all your liabilities, including but not limited to the below:
- Credit card(s)
- Car loans/leases
- Personal loans
- Student loans
- Overdue taxes
Even though you won’t be leaving your liabilities to anyone in your will, it is useful to get an idea of your estate’s general financial standing so you can plan accordingly concerning funeral costs, probate expenses, and taxes.
Some liabilities might become the responsibility of the estate, so you may want to think about taking out a life insurance policy to assist in covering certain costs following your passing away.
Designate an executor
The individual that is going to handle your estate and the conditions in your will is known as the executor. You name this individual in the will.
You should be sure your executor is going to be up to the duty of managing your estate and also that the individual is open to taking on the task.
You should have an alternate executor in mind in case your initial selection can’t serve.
Who is going to be your guardian(s)?
When you have minor children, your will is the ideal place to appoint a guardian for them should their other parent be unable to take care for them for whatever reasons (including should both parents pass away at the same time).
You can also think about how you are going to wish to provide for your children’s care; you might want to leave somebody else responsible of property they are going to inherit until they reach a mature age.
After you’ve created your will
As you can tell, creating a will does not have to be a complex or time-consuming duty. With some planning, you are going to have all the information you require to accomplish it. You may even be able to merely enter it into your last will and testament form to create a genuine will.
After you have created a will and made sure it is in accordance with your state’s law regarding the carrying out of wills, you should keep it in a safe place and let others know where to locate it.
Your duty concerning your will is not finished yet, though, as you should frequently revisit your will to make sure it still reflects your wishes—annually around your birthday is an ideal time to do so.
Making A will: A quick checklist. LegalZoom. (n.d.). Retrieved March 9, 2023, from https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/making-a-will-a-quick-checklist
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