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How to Create a Will?

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Now that I have a child on the way, I have done some research and learned that I likely need to create a will. I never really thought about having to draft a will, but now that I am married and have a child on the way, I thought it would be a good idea to check it out. Based upon my research, below are some helpful tips on creating a will. Please share if you have recently drafted or changed your will.

For those who are not familiar, a will is a document that spells out what should happen to your assets after you pass away. It is a legal document that designates all of your assets as well as designates guardianship of your children. Now a days you have multiple options to create one:

If your situation is not complicated, you have the ability to draft your own will yourself. There are a variety of templates online or you can use several websites that offer some free services. I would recommend to check out RocketLawyer or Willing. After you generate the document, it will need to be signed by two witnesses and yourself. In theory you do not need it notarized, but it always helps. Also, each state has its own laws, so it is advisable to use a freemium service like LegalZoom, Willing, or RocketLawyer. They will help you make your will legally valid in the state you reside and should cost you less than $200.

For more complicated matters, hiring a lawyer might be the better route. A lawyer will have all of the updated information for your state, and in some cases, may not be as expensive as you think. A very basic will could cost less than $250, but if your situation is more complex, could cost as high as $5,000.

Some additional information that will be helpful when you draft your will:

Picking an executor: This is the person in charge that handles all of your assets and everything else after you die. They do not decide who gets what, but they handle the direction of the will. You want a person you can trust to handle your affairs, such as a spouse, or close family member.

Designate your beneficiaries: This is an important part of your will. You are to select the people who will inherit your assets. This includes everything, including your savings, home, and any personal items. You want to make sure you designate everything you own and be as specific as possible. Also be sure to keep in mind pets.

Choose a guardian: If you have children, you need to designate who you want to have guardianship when you pass away. This is obviously an important decision to make and you need to consult with the guardian and the child first. The person does not legally have to accept guardianship, and if they don’t, the court will choose a new guardian, which may not be a good situation. 

Write a letter: If you want a personal message in your will, write a last letter, which can be very meaningful to your family.

Where to stash your will: I would recommend to file your will away somewhere very safe such as a bank. I would also let your family know where the will is, as long as you trust them!

Review your will every few years: Make sure you update your will every few years. Your assets may have changed, laws may have changed, or your beneficiaries may have changed. Whatever may be the case, review your will every few years.

I know this isn’t a very fun topic, but its very important as you build your family and wealth.

 

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Comments 2

Wanderer on Sunday, 04 November 2018 12:24

This is an important life document! If a person becomes deceased without a will ... most often they are at the whim of their state of residence. People that the deceased meant to take care of are required to go through a long process and may not receive the benefits intended for them. When children are present their financial well being into the future can be tied to the outcome of an estate not to mention the spouse. Add to this may be the need for a "Power of Attorney" and some form of "Health Care Directive" (may have many names). These too provide for the unknown and may help others on how to proceed.

Obtained my first Will over thirty years ago and have served as a Personal Representative/Executor for a family member. Sure expedited things knowing legally how the deceased wanted the estate distributed. Take this Blog to heart as it is a major item if a person of significance in one's life passes and no legal instructions are left.

This is an important life document! If a person becomes deceased without a will ... most often they are at the whim of their state of residence. People that the deceased meant to take care of are required to go through a long process and may not receive the benefits intended for them. When children are present their financial well being into the future can be tied to the outcome of an estate not to mention the spouse. Add to this may be the need for a "Power of Attorney" and some form of "Health Care Directive" (may have many names). These too provide for the unknown and may help others on how to proceed. Obtained my first Will over thirty years ago and have served as a Personal Representative/Executor for a family member. Sure expedited things knowing legally how the deceased wanted the estate distributed. Take this Blog to heart as it is a major item if a person of significance in one's life passes and no legal instructions are left.
Frank on Wednesday, 21 November 2018 14:06

It is a very important life document! its been my first experience putting one together, but I am learned a ton!

It is a very important life document! its been my first experience putting one together, but I am learned a ton!
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Monday, 16 September 2019

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