While mortality can be a difficult topic to discuss, taking the time to plan ahead and prepare a well-written will can help avoid strife among your loved ones when your time comes. Using this guide and a trusted estate attorney, you can begin the process of leaving behind a record of how you want your personal belongings and money to be allocated.
1. Select Your Beneficiaries
After the event of your passing, someone will receive your money, house, and other belongings. It’s common for individuals to choose their children or family member they were closest to.
An often overlooked aspect of choosing a beneficiary is ensuring that your specific beneficiary is always up-to-date. Who you want to receive your money and belongings can change over time due to a variety of reasons. You can update your chosen beneficiary with the help of an attorney or through software that helps draft wills.
2. Choose the Executor for Your Will
The executor of your will is tasked with making sure the wishes in your will are carried out. This means it’s important to ensure the person you choose is someone who you trust and is responsible. Some individuals will end up choosing their bank or an attorney as an executor, in which case they can expect to spend 2 to 4 percent of their estate’s assets.
If you’re designating a family member or friend, experts encourage they should be compensated, either through an hourly rate or a percentage of assets. After all, closing an estate can be an arduous task. This is a stressful situation for anyone to be in, so ensuring they are fairly compensated is a nice gesture.
3. Pick A Guardian
This is one of the most difficult aspects of forming a will: Who will take on the role of guardian if your children aren’t legal adults when you pass? Some parents have godparents in place for such instances, but many do not. You will want to be sure this is something that’s understood between you and any potential guardians.
With that being said, you do not need to get permission from your friend or family member before appointing them as a guardian. If you do not seek permission, it’s recommended that you name at least three guardians in order of your preference. Not everyone will be in a position to take on this large of a role, so it’s wise to list several people.
4. Be Specific
Do not be vague in your will. Do not hope that everyone will know what you want. This can be especially tricky when you’ve had multiple children, and you have your children and stepchildren in the mix. After drawing up your will, you’ll also want to work on a power of attorney and a living will in case you’re ever incapacitated. You’ll also want to continuously update your will, especially after any major life event, such as a marriage, divorce, or birth.
5. Call Burrows Law Group
If you need help drawing up your will, or would like some help updating your current will, contact Burrows Law Group for a free consultation. Our offices are ready to help you and your loved ones get on the right path to protect your assets and make sure everything is taken care of.