A will is one of the most important documents you’ll ever write. It allows you to decide who will inherit your estate and valuables. If you want to prevent family conflicts or quarrels with a lawful will, everyone will have to respect your wishes.
In this short guide, we’ll advise you on how to write a personal will and ensure everyone in your family gets what you wanted. Although it seems like a straightforward process, we’ll give you a set of steps to ensure your will is written appropriately and according to law.
First Step – Value Your Assets
Writing a will is a strategy for dividing all your assets to your closest family members or friends. However, you won’t be able to do it unless you know what your possessions are. The list of assets that make someone’s estate are usually houses, apartments, any other property, money saved in a bank or fun, or a life insurance policy. Cars and other vehicles can also be a valuable part of your estate, along with jewelry, antique furniture, and valuable art. Don’t forget to count in any mortgage, bank overdraft, or loans, as they will go from you to someone else in the family after your death. Once you make an honest assessment of all your assets, you can decide to sell them and distribute money to your beneficiaries. Or you can leave the assets to them, allowing them to determine how to handle it.
Step Two – Divide the Estate
Once you know all your assets and debts, you can think about what will happen with them. The first thing is to decide who will be the biggest beneficiaries. Sometimes, those are the kids, cousins, or even friends. In some cases, people decide to leave everything to charity organizations or funds. However, it’s pivotal to choose a registered charity with an active account number and a contact person.
If you want to leave some presents to certain people, make a list, and decide who should get what. This is important for your lawyer to know as they will have to contact them later and explain their role in your will. Lastly, make sure to include funeral expenses in the will so that your children or friends wouldn’t have to pay it for you. Now that you have everything drafted, you don’t have to worry about what will happen with all your assets since your will provides everyone with detailed information.
Step Three – Hire a Will Adviser and Executor
A will adviser is a person that will work on the distribution of your assets after your death. This professional will also give you expert advice on how to draft a will. It’s a responsible role, and you should work with someone with a lot of experience.
Your executor could be a family member, relative, good friend, or solicitor. Indeed, you don’t have to be related to someone to give them the responsibility. However, it’s sometimes better to hire a professional to support you during the entire process.
Some people prefer to appoint two executors to share the responsibility and work. If you would feel more comfortable choosing someone outside of your family circle, you could appoint your accountant, solicitor, or even hire a professional executor.
Step Four – How to Write Your Will
Writing a will could be done in many ways.
Usually, writing a will should be done in the presence of a solicitor or any legal executive. Once you state what you have and how to divide it, your solicitor will help you write the official version.
Hiring a professional will writer is another way to go about it. However, remember that professional writers are not qualified solicitors and that once you have everything written, a solicitor needs to review it.
Some banks are offering will writing services and estate planning to their loyal customers. Should you contact them on time, they’ll book an appointment with an adviser and help you with your will.
Lastly, you can always make your own will. Write down everything you have and specify who will get it after your death. As it is a legal document, make sure your lawyer gives you the green light on its content and informs you how to sign it correctly.
Sign and Store Your Will
Once you sign your will in the presence of two witnesses, and they sign it with you, it becomes a valid document. You can decide to leave it with a solicitor, bank, home, or local Probate service to make sure it’s safe. Once it’s time to open it, your solicitor must be aware of its location to read it in front of your family and respect your last wishes.
Coming up with a will of your own or helping a loved one with this matter can be quite a challenge. Rather than handle this task on your own, it’s best to learn all you can about it. With the right research and professional assistance, you can accomplish this feat in no time at all.