Writing a will is not an enjoyable experience. But it’s something you’ll have to get done if you don’t want the law to step in and decide what to do with your estate after you’ve passed away. It’s also a good way to avoid disputes over family heirlooms and property. Since it’s difficult to condense all the important information about testaments in one post, let’s not waste time and let’s get down with the nitty-gritty of writing a will immediately.
So, let’s dive right in. What are the things you need to think about when writing your will?
1. Can I write my will by myself? Or do I need to appoint someone?
You can’t just write a will and put it in a safe and expect it to be valid. In fact, for the will to be valid, it will have to meet certain conditions. To avoid the easy and common mistakes that occur on wills, make sure you read about with the rules and speak to an expert if in doubt speak.
While it would be good to have an idea of what makes a will valid and not, you should know that you have three main options to choose from when writing your will. You can choose to use a solicitor, use a will writing service or do it yourself.
2. Who will be the executor of your will?
First things first. What is an executor? An executor is a person chosen to handle the estate of a deceased person. This person will essentially be tasked with making sure the wishes in your will are carried out. Hence, you will have to choose someone who is responsible and trustworthy.
If you don’t feel confident choosing a friend or family member, you can choose to appoint your banker or your attorney as your executor.
3. What do you want to happen with all your stuff once you pass away?
If there’s one place where you can’t afford to be vague, it’s in your will. You may want to fairly distribute your stuff but this may not always be easy. Here’s an example for you: let’s suppose you a gramophone and several of your children love it. What are you going to do? You can’t split this between several children. You will have to pick the person who gets the gramophone. The best way to avoid family disputes is to talk to your heirs about these assets.
4. Who will take care of your kids?
If you are preparing your will while your children are still underage, you should pick a guardian for them. There are two ways of doing this. You can either talk to the people who you see as potential guardians to see if they are willing to take care of your kids should something happen to you. Or, you can choose not to ask them. But if you don’t ask them, think about naming three guardians in order of your preference instead.
5. What do you own?
When preparing your will it is crucial to find out how much you own how you hold your assets In fact, assets can be held in several ways, including:
• You can hold an asset jointly with right of survivorship.
This means you are coowner of something (such as a house) and that the asset will automatically go to the other coowner when you pass away.
This means that you own part of an asset with another person. But that part doesn’t go automatically to the other person in the event of your death. Instead, you can leave your share to whoever you want.
6. What do you want to leave your family and to whom do you want to leave it?
In some countries, fathers are legally obligated to divide their properties equally among their children, even if the father has children from several marriages. In other countries, you can designate your beneficiaries and when you die, these beneficiaries are going to inherit your money, house, and other belongings.
7. Who is going to be your witness?
In most countries, the person who’s preparing their testament will need to have witnesses sign it. And depending on where you are from, the witnesses signing the documents cannot be the same people who stand to inherit something in the will.
In addition to the witnesses not inheriting anything from you, you’ll also need to make sure that they are at least 18 years old.
8. Will you have to change your will?
You’ve drawn up your will and have ensured that all the standards are met and that all the rules are respected. But does that mean you are done?
Far from it. You’ll have to make sure that you keep your will up to date, especially after any major life event, such as a marriage, remarriage, divorce, separation, birth, adoption, death of a spouse or death of your executor. In some provinces, you may even be required by law to change or rewrite your will after these events.