Tips for Will Writing: Where to Start?
Everyone's family situation is different, but everyone has assets and belongings that deserve to be taken care of and distributed the way they want them to be. It is extremely important to have a properly drafted will that takes care of your assets in a time of uncertainty.
Will writing doesn't have to wait until you're over fifty. If you have any substantial possessions or wealth, you should not hesitate to make a will. In fact, wills are essential to people with minor children because it is in a will that you specify who will take care of your children if something were to happen to you. The process of writing a will can be very standard, there are people that can help, and the peace of mind is invaluable.
A lawyer should always be consulted to make sure everything is done properly. But even before that, we want to make sure you don't feel unprepared or insecure when starting this process. We wanted to provide some tips to give you some confidence.
First and foremost before beginning will writing, carefully consider who drafts your documents. You should not ask your beneficiaries to help make the draft as this could result in the will being challenged by other potential beneficiaries. It is always wise to consult a lawyer to draft your will.
It is also a lot cheaper to pay once for it to be done right then to have to hire lawyers for errors in a poorly drafted will and to battle claims against a badly written will. Check with the BBB and Martindale peer reviews available online. A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating. Walters & Ward receives a 5 out of 5 on this scale.
Then next thing you should do is carefully consider two executors to appoint. The role of an executor is very important. It requires a lot of responsibility as they will be dealing with handling the estate. They should be capable and trustworthy to handle their role. And don't forget to make sure they themselves are willing to be one.
A fairly simple but extremely important step when creating a will is to sign it properly. You must have two witnesses during this process, and your notary will be able to guide you through this process. These witnesses cannot be any beneficiary or anyone married to a beneficiary. They must be independent.
If any children under the age of 18 will be left alone, you must appoint a guardian though your will. This is an important consideration within the family. It is wise to not make the guardian the same as the trustee. The trustee is someone you must appoint to look over and manage your money and investments until the beneficiary is old enough to receive them. The trustee must be trustworthy and financially savvy. Carefully consider these steps for the wellbeing of the children.
Finally, store your will in a safe place and tell family members where it is. It is no good to anyone if it is lost or destroyed. You should not put it in a safety deposit box at the bank because if something happened to you, there is no easy way to retrieve it. Consider a fire resistant safe for your home.
These are just some points to help get you started and comfortable with will writing. A professional should be consulted to ensure every step is taken and taken correctly. It doesn't have to be difficult and it doesn't have to be costly to gain the peace of mind you need.