Not everything you planned for will happen the way you imagined it. You might be thinking that you’ll live until you’re 90, but things happen; life happens. Life has its way of blowing you into a different direction, and before you know it, you need to say goodbye.
That is why many believe that preparation is critical. You don’t want to leave this world with the people you love hanging in the balance and asking themselves questions they don’t have an answer to.
As you see in movies, writing a will shouldn’t have to happen when you know that you’re dying. Some people even started writing their will when they had their first child just because it’s better that you have everything set out for them in the event of your demise.
What is a will?
A will is a legal document that summarizes your last wishes. Its main purpose is for you to be able to specify how your properties and assets must be distributed after your death. It must also specify an executor or administrator, who is basically your appointed person in charge of taking care of your minor children and executing your final wishes.
To be correctly executed, have your will prepared by a trusts and estates attorney. Surprisingly, a will can now be accomplished online too.
If you plan to write a will, here are some of the things that you need to include:
1. Funeral Instructions
After your death, your loved ones will arrange for your final resting place. Since you’re gone, your loved ones will make all the decisions on your behalf. But if you want specific instructions for your internment, you can state them on your will. So, if you wish to be cremated, buried beside your parents, or maybe have your ashes scattered somewhere, you may note it on your will so your family would know what to do.
2. Distribution Of Assets
A will is a powerful document that would end all strife in the family about who gets what. Carefully wording out which assets go to who and a brief explanation why would settle things straight and restore calm in the family.
When you’re writing your will, it would be best to list down all your assets and their estimated value to properly assess how important they are to you and who you think would be the best guardian of that asset. Your assets could include your house, car, stocks, cash, and investments.
If you have someone you don’t want to receive any of your assets, name them too. That way, there will be no questions among those you left behind.
3. Guardianship Of Children
The guardianship of your minor children automatically passes to the other surviving parent as long as they are competent. You may state who you want to be your children’s guardian in your will as well.
The appointed guardian will take full legal and physical custody of your children after your death. You may appoint anyone you feel would best take good care of your children and treat them like their own.
4. Guardianship Of Your Pets
For a fur parent, the well-being of your beloved pet animal is also important. So, when writing your will, make sure to appoint a trusted and capable person who can carry on the responsibility of being a fur parent when you’re gone.
5. Enduring Powers Of Attorney
A legal representative can attend to any financial and property concerns after your death through an EPA or enduring powers of attorney.
This person will make complex financial and property decisions on your behalf but with your best interest in mind.
If you want some of your assets to be given to charities you support, you may state their name in your will. You must include their full name, address, and EIN or employer identification number. And if the charity you support is a big one with small local chapters, and you want them to receive your asset specifically, you have to specify this on your will.
7. Residuary Clause
A residuary clause covers everything not left to anyone specifically or an asset you might have forgotten you have. You may state who you want to receive these assets so your executor can assign to them after your death.
A will is something you can revise over time, so if you had a change of heart on who you want to receive any of your assets, you might change them.
You have to remember, though, holographic or handwritten wills are not easily accepted in every state. So, in writing your will, you may choose a will kit or an online will maker. In addition, make sure to check the laws of your state to know the necessary process of creating a valid will.