It is not always pleasant to think about what should be done with our property after we die. If it were up to most of us, we would rather that never become a problem. But since we all have to go sometime, it’s a good idea to make out a will to ensure your wishes are going to be honored after you pass on.
But what do you put in a will to make sure all the important things are covered?
Here are a few things to think about when writing out your last will and testament.
One of the most important things you should put in your will is an explanation of how you want your funeral to be handled. These days funerals are not cheap, and you don’t want to burden your family with the expense of laying you to rest when they are already having to deal emotionally with your death. You’ll want to include whether you want to be buried or cremated, which funeral company to go with, and where you want to be buried or have your memorial placed. Make sure to set aside money in your will to cover all of your choices.
The next thing you will want to cover is who will get your money and other property. You should include an detailed list of each of your beneficiaries and exactly what they are entitled to. The inheritance laws in you region will cover whatever you leave out, but if you have certain people in mind to receive certain things, you are better off spelling it out so that there is no confusion.
Another important factor if you have underage children is to establish who will take care of them when you pass on. This is especially important if your spouse will be unable to care for the children if, for instance, she dies with you in an accident. The care of your children is not something you want to leave for a state social worker to figure out. But you also don’t want to name a guardian without discussing the matter with your chosen person. That person may be unable or unwilling to perform these duties, and you certainly don’t want to leave your children with someone if that’s the case.
You will want to name someone to serve as an executor of the will. This is someone whose job it is to make sure the wishes expressed in your will are carried out properly and faithfully. A spouse is a common named executor, but you may also have another family member or a friend in mind. If you don’t choose someone, the court will choose someone for you and there may be fees involved.
Finally, a proper will is always signed by you and one or more witnesses. This ensures that your will is accepted as legally binding and that it was your true wishes, without any coercion and was written while you were of sound mind.
For more information, consult your attorney or do some research online. Just don’t put it off, because tomorrow may be too late.