Top Five Tips For Preparing Your Will
Admittedly, few people like to contemplate their own death and what might happen to the people around them in their absence. However, preparing a will is the way to ensure that your estate is handled the way you want. By taking a little time to prepare a proper will, you can make sure that your assets are allocated properly after you are gone.
Here are five tips to help you prepare a will so that your instructions will be followed and your family will be properly protected.
5 Tips For Preparing a Will
List All Assets: You can start by simply listing all of your assets on a piece of paper and then assigning them as part of your will. Your list should include the following:
- All financial holdings (brokerage accounts)
- Life insurance policies
- Retirement accounts
- Assigning guardians for children if necessary
- Names & addresses of those receiving the assets
You should list all of your assets even if some of them are quite small. An expert in the preparation of wills can help you determine what needs to be accounted for and what the family can decide on their own. Contact a will lawyer in New York if you have any questions.
Create a Plan: Your will is designed to carry out your wishes after you have passed away. This means that you and not the state will determine how your estate is divided up among your family and relatives. Remember to take into account any children from a previous marriage, if you own a business, or have been contemplating a divorce.
Name an Executor: You will want to appoint an executor of your estate who will carry out your wishes. If you are married, the spouse is normally the executor. However, you will want to list an alternative (successor executor) in case something should happen to your spouse. This is a detail that often gets overlooked in many wills.
Write a Letter of Personal Instruction: Here, you can take care of the many little details that your family would have to do under the duress of your passing. In this letter you can list your wishes for funeral arrangements, where important documents are located, and items that are not part of the will but instructions on what should be done with them.
Finalize Your Will with an Expert: Once you have planned out what you can, it is best to consult with an expert in the creation of wills so that nothing gets overlooked. While there are many do-it-yourself wills that you can find online, each state has its own unique laws that need to be considered, and that’s where an expert comes into play. They can look over your will and ask you pertinent questions that you might have missed. It’s possible that a small detail can become a major sticking point in executing your wishes as listed in the will, so be smart and consult an attorney who specializes in such matters. Now is not the time to be cheap.
By taking a little time to get things organized into a will, you can save your family a considerable amount of stress during the trying time of your passing. This is where expert legal advice comes in when preparing your will so that your Last Will and Testament is binding.