The first step to make a will is to collect your assets. Think about your final wishes and the people you want to receive your assets. Ensure that you include specific directions, such as the names of beneficiaries and what assets you own. You should also be specific about your final wishes. To make sure your intentions are followed, you must include as much information as possible. You may want to consult a lawyer if you have a complex estate or many valuable possessions.
Wills are important documents that make sure your wishes are carried out in your absence. They act as a legal way of passing on the assets you have accumulated during your lifetime. However, they are not a foolproof method. If you fail to create a will, your loved ones may not inherit what you intended. To avoid such an outcome, make sure your will has the right language. Don’t put boilerplate language in your will.
Once you’ve drafted a will, you should make sure that you store it in a secure place and inform your executor of where to find the most recent copy of your document. Moreover, you should update your will every few years as your life changes. Perhaps you’ve moved to another state, purchased a large property, divorced, or had a child. In any of these cases, you must update your will.
Wills require witnesses. Wills should be signed by a person of sound mind who is over 18 years old, but some states require a person who is at least 14 years old to make the will. In any case, the person signing the will must be of sound mind and cannot be under any duress or pressure. A witness is a very important part of the estate planning process. If you’re unsure how to create a will, visit Nolo’s Wills, Trusts, and Probate Center to learn more about the process.
Another key factor to consider is your health. Even if you’ve set up trusts, a will can help direct your assets. A will also states your preferences for the guardians of minor children. Trusts help minimize the amount of tax you pay on your estate, which is why a will is important. If you have an existing trust, you can still make a will if you want to avoid paying gift and estate taxes.
You’ll also need a person to act as your executor. This person is responsible for settling your estate after you die. They must be trustworthy and have the necessary skills to do so. Some people also name an alternate executor. After the executor reads the will, a trusted person is given the task of distributing your estate’s assets. If you pass away while incompetent, the executor will take care of all of your estate’s finances and possessions.