You can never tell how long you will be alive. You can either leave this world soon or any time in the future. It is an advantage to settle everything beforehand. This way, you are at peace with where your properties will go once you pass away. One of the options you have is to prepare your last will.
You cannot take any of your assets after you die. For this reason, it is best to ensure that you have the best people to receive and take over them for you. Worthy people will always be among your recipient choices. Your mind can still change as time passes by, and you can update your last will whenever you want.
Writing Your Last Will
A will is a legal document that contains how they will manage your affairs after your passing. Meanwhile, this legal paper often includes the following details:
- The recipient of your properties
- The guardians for your minor children
- Your estate manager
Writing a last will often vary from one state to another, but in any case, you have requirements to fulfill before you can proceed with the process. Here are those necessary items:
- Age must be 18 years old.
- Will must be in writing, either handwritten (for some states), preprinted or typewritten.
- Writing the will should take place under a sound mind.
- The testator has to sign it and include the date with the witnesses’ presence.
- Witness has to be 18 years old, and the testator must have at least 2-3 of them.
- The witness cannot be one of the recipients.
- It is best to have the will notarized.
- A signed sworn statement helps achieve the validity of the will.
You have to ensure meeting these requirements. You can write your will and ensure that all your properties go to trusted recipients. Meanwhile, you can write your legal will as early as you want. The next section includes the steps on how you can write it.
Steps to Follow in Writing a Last Will
Your last will can help you secure that your properties are in good hands after you pass away. Here’s how to start writing your will:
Prepare the initial document.
Use “Last Will” as the title of your document, and include your full legal name and address in it. The first paragraph serves as your declaration, stating that you are of legal age and sound mind while writing the will.
Choose your executor.
It is best to have a lawyer with experience in estate planning. This way, you are confident you have someone you can trust your affairs with by the time you pass away. You must select the best executor you can have and decide if you want to compensate them as well.
Select the guardian for your minor children.
You must ensure that your children are in good hands, especially if they are still minors. It happens when the surviving parent is unfit to take responsibility. The best choice is someone you can trust to care for your children and also has good relation with them. Consider having an alternative guardian if the first choice does not pursue or something happens. You have to clear things up with these guardians and your children.
List down the name of your beneficiaries.
These people are the ones to inherit your assets after passing away. They can be your spouse, children, relatives, or close friends. Your will has to include their complete legal names. Aside from that, do not put your pet on the list of your beneficiaries. It is best to add someone to take care of your pet instead.
Allocate your assets.
It is now time for you to decide what assets to give to every beneficiary. You have to think of every property you have and who deserves to receive them. It is best to work with a lawyer to know the laws you must comply with to prevent any dispute in the end. Afterward, your witnesses must sign your last will.
Find a secure place to store the document.
A safe deposit box is an excellent option to store your last will. Your executor knows where to access it by the time you pass away. Keeping it in a safe place is better to ensure no one can access it other than you and your executor.
Meanwhile, your estate plan or last testament requires a review now and then. Time will come that an event may change your mind and make you decide to revise or update something in your legal document. So, review it now and then.