Steps to Making Your Will

Explore:  Estate Planning Wills

You probably know you need a will, but do you know what a will is? A will, also called a last will and testament explains your final wishes and instructs how you would like them carried out. A will can do many things including name executors, explain how debts should be dealt with and name guardians for your children. Here are some steps to get you started in making your will:

  • Choose what property will be in your will — First, create a list of your assets. It is important to remember, that if you are married, you and your spouse should each create a separate will.
  • Determine who will inherit your property — Your next step is to determine the distribution of your property. It is important to also pick alternate beneficiaries in case your primary choices do not survive you.
  • Name an executor — An executor is the person you choose to carry out the instructions of your will.
  • Name a guardian — If you have children under the age of 18, you should name a guardian — someone you trust to look after your children.
  • Decide who will manage your children’s property — If you leave your child an inheritance, it is a good idea to name a person to manage the property and assets until the child is old enough to do so.
  • Sign your will before a witness — Once you’ve finished making your will, you must sign it in the presence of at least two witnesses.

Since your will may affect many people after you are gone, it is essential that it be well written and clear.

Topics:  Estate Planning, Wills

Published In: Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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