Tuesday, April 30, 2024

4 Things To Consider Before Writing Your Will

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A will is a legal document that outlines your wishes regarding your death. It tells your loved ones how you would like to distribute your assets and what happens to anything you leave behind.

While it's a rather macabre topic, it's also an empowering one. Without a will, you're leaving your loved ones in the dark about your wishes for your assets, be it money, belongings, property, businesses, or anything else. A will clears up any confusion, giving you the power to allocate different things to different people as you wish. 

Understanding the process of writing a will is crucial. It empowers you to make informed decisions and ensures your wishes are properly documented. While there are many important aspects to a legally binding will, there are also some considerations you need to keep in mind prior to writing your will. You can draw up the best plans possible and know what our options are.

What Assets and Property Do You Own?

Before you start making your will, it's a good idea to sit down and list everything you own. This will give you a better idea of what you need to consider and distribute when the time comes. Things you need to consider include;

  • Investments

  • Bank Accounts

  • Property

  • Businesses

  • Pets

  • Personal Items

  • Digital Assets

  • Vehicles

Take your time and be thorough in identifying what you own. It might take some time, but it's a responsible step to ensure nothing is missed off.

Know Your Probate and Non-probate Assets

Not everything should be included in your will, specifically non-probate assets. What are these? They are assets that do not need to go through probate, and including them in your will will slow down the probate process. Examples of non-probate assets not to include in your will include life insurance, a 401 (K), payable on death and transferable on death assets, and certain bank or brokerage accounts.

Who Your Executor Will Be

Choosing the right executor is a significant decision. It ensures your wishes are carried out, and your assets are distributed as intended. The executor of your will can be anyone as long as they are of legal age and of sound mind. It can be your lawyer, family member, or friend; it doesn't matter. They need to be someone dependable and trustworthy who will contact those named in your will to discuss your wishes. Talk to those you feel would be a good fit for this role and get their permission to name them as executor of your will so they know what their role will be when the time comes.

Who Receives What

Now that you know what you have to leave your loved one, you can decide who you want to leave certain things to. It might be that you want to leave property to your children, in which case you might need a Quitclaim Deed filed to transfer property between family members; you might need to confirm how you would like to distribute your intended inheritance between grandchildren who are classed as minors at the time of writing a will or leave heirlooms to specific family members. Think carefully about who you wish to receive any or all of your assets and ensure that this is noted down clearly so it can be properly addressed in the will once you compile your final wishes to be legally recorded.

Getting ready to write your will is important. The last thing you want to do is overlook important aspects of writing your will and miss certain areas of your life that can be important in the event of your passing.

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