You do not know what is going to happen tomorrow.
Because of that, you should not put off writing your will until your “old age.” This advice is especially true if you have children.
If you were to pass away unexpectedly, what would happen to your kids? If you have a Last Will and Testament, you can definitively answer that question.
A will tells your loved ones what you want to be done with your assets. That is why it is so important to write a will as soon as you can.
The Parts of Your Will You Need to Think About
There are several different elements of a will you should be aware of. You will need to spend time thinking about these things and choosing some loved ones to include in the will.
Your Assets to Be Identified in Your Will
These are your belongings. They are the things you are willing to other people. They can include personal items, property, bank accounts, investments, and additional money.
The Beneficiaries to be Identified in Your Will
Beneficiaries are the people who will receive your assets. These might be children, family members, close friends, and organizations or charities you want to support.
The Guardians to be Identified in Your Will
If you still have young children, you will need to choose a guardian who will take care of them if you pass away. It may be the surviving parent, but you will also want to pick a back up guardian in case something happens to both parents.
The Executor to be Identified in Your Will
This is the person who’ll make sure your assets are divided in the way you want them. Make sure this person is someone you trust.
Advice for Writing a Will You Should Follow
The exact elements of a will can vary depending on what state you live in. However, there are some pieces of advice everyone should following when writing a will.
Here are a few examples.
Be Specific About assets, beneficiaries, guardianship and other wishes in Your Will
Try to be as specific as possible when writing your will. This can get tricky if you have a lot of children, have gotten remarried, or if you have step-children.
For example, let’s say you got remarried to a second spouse. You should not leave all your money to your second spouse and hope they leave it to your children when they pass away. Your second spouse might give the money to their own family instead.
Write exactly what you want each person to get.
Store Your Will Properly
You cannot write a will then tuck it into your desk drawer. You have to make sure your will is somewhere people will find it when you pass away and somewhere it stays protected.
It’s a good idea to keep your will (and other relevant documents) in a firebox. At Lilac City Law, we also help our clients maintain their wills digitally.
Update It Often
You cannot write a will once and be done with it. You should go back through your will at least every five years and make necessary changes.
There are also other circumstances that mean its time to redo your will.
- The law changes
- You get married, divorced, or remarried
- You have another child
- You’ve become a grandparent
- You’ve developed new health challenges
If you do not update your will, your assets might not be divided in the way you intend.
Don’t Do It by Yourself
You should never try to write a will by yourself. A professional estate lawyer understands the appropriate laws and can ensure you are not missing anything. They also know when the laws change and can let you know it is time to update your will.
Although it might seem easy to write your own will, you may end up missing important elements.
Advice for Writing a Will Everyone Should Follow
It is never too early to start writing a will. If you have a family and do not have a will yet, writing one should be your next priority.
Do you need some help getting started?