Five Tips On How to Make Out A Will

Making out your will is never going to make your top 10 list of fun things to do. But where it can make a positive impact is in providing peace of mind for you and your loved ones. You can also rest easy knowing pets and dependents are provided for in your will.

Yet still, the process of creating a will can feel daunting. In this post, learn five tips you can use today to start making out your will.

Tip #1: Research your state’s regulations before you start.
This is the number one time-saving tip you will need to follow to make sure you do your will correctly the first time. Each state has autonomy to decide what will become of what you own if you don’t have a will in place.

This also means that if you decide to hire a lawyer to help you, be sure to hire one that is familiar with the laws in your state.

Tip #2: Know what to put in your will and what to leave out.
Your last will and testament is about your property and who gets what. It is not the place where you outline what you do and don’t want in terms of medical care or where you plan your funeral and memorial service.

There are other documents you can use for these additional important items. So in your will, stick to the script (or the template your state recommends).

Tip #3: Be very clear and precise about what goes to whom.
Here, the best guideline is to describe each item in detail and even have an attachment with pictures so your beneficiaries (the people who are getting your things after you pass) know exactly what is and isn’t theirs.

Otherwise, and especially if you have a collection of similar items, your will is likely to be confusing to those left behind and may even end up embroiling them in legal battles.

Tip #4: Realize many assets may not need to be listed in your will.
Your retirement holdings, your investments, your life insurance policy and your home likely already have beneficiaries listed that you set up separately from your will. As well, state law may dictate that certain items automatically go to your surviving spouse.

You may want to make a list of assets that already have beneficiaries designated elsewhere and unassigned assets you need to list in your will.

Tip #5: Your executor and your guardian are not the same.
Your guardian is the person you name to take care of your dependents (be aware here that pets are typically treated as property, not dependents, so you will need separate instructions for them). Your executor is the person you name to ensure your will is carried out exactly as you instructed.

These five tips just scratch the surface of what you need to know when drafting your will. But they will give you a great start and make the task seem less daunting.

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