Death is a subject that nobody wants to talk about. However, it’s important to talk about what happens to your wealth and assets after your death. Drafting a will is the most effective method to guarantee the distribution of your assets aligns with your desires. That being said, creating a will can be a daunting task. Many people think they can create their own will using a DIY kit, but it's better to consult an estate lawyer.
Step 1: Create a list of your assets and liabilities
The first step to a comprehensive will is to make a detailed list of all your assets and liabilities. Assets include property, investments, bank accounts, and personal belongings, while liabilities include any debts, loans or mortgages. In case of any joint ownership or partnership in any asset, mention all the detailed information about it. Taking inventory of your assets will help you understand your net worth and how you'd like to transfer it.
Step 2: Choose your beneficiaries
Deciding who will inherit your assets is crucial. Make a list of all family members and close friends who you would like to include in your will. Be specific about each beneficiary and the percentage of the asset that they will receive. In case you want to donate any of your wealth to charity, you can specify the amount.
Step 3: Appoint an executor
An executor is someone who will ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death. This person can be anyone you trust, like a family member or an estate lawyer. Make sure to appoint a backup executor in the event that the primary executor cannot carry out their duties.
Step 4: Consult with an estate lawyer
An estate lawyer can guide you through the legal matters concerning your will. They can give you legal advice and ensure that your will is valid. Additionally, they can assist in tax reduction and guarantee prompt distribution of assets to your beneficiaries.
Step 5: Sign and witness your will
Once your will is drafted, sign it and get it witnessed. You need two witnesses who can attest to your competence and sanity. Once the testator (the person who made the will) passes away, the will is presented to the probate court to ensure the assets are distributed in accordance with the testator's wishes.
Crafting a will is an important part of an estate plan. It ensures that your beneficiaries receive your assets and that your wishes are carried out after your death. Although you can attempt to create your will yourself, it's always better to consult an estate lawyer to ensure that the will is lawful and comprehensive. To create a will, follow the steps that are outlined, and don't forget to keep your will updated as your circumstances change.