Writing Your Will

People can find it uncomfortable talking about death. But there may come a time that you should be able to face the fact that you have to prepare for it especially when it comes to handing down whatever assets and properties that you may be leaving behind. If you wish that whatever wealth you may have accumulated in your lifetime goes into the right hands, then you may need to plan writing up a will.

A will is simply a document that specifies who has the rights to certain assets and properties left behind by a person after death. This is especially important if a person wishes that certain members of the family are given their rightful share of the wealth that one may leave behind after death. Having a will is important in that it helps make the distribution of property among certain beneficiaries easier and more convenient. A will can also help prevent further conflict over numerous beneficiaries as to who gets what property.

Writing up a will doesn’t have to be that complicated. It can be made simple and straightforward just knowing what the basics are. One of the first things that you should do in planning up a will is choosing who will be drawing it up as well as finding the right executor for it. A good lawyer that you trust can draw up a simple will for you. Of course, you may have heard of do-it-yourself wills that are available online. Try to avoid them if you know that you do not have sufficient knowledge about the subject. What’s more the process of drawing up DIY wills can have a lot of errors and pitfalls. You would be better off having a professional experienced in making such wills for you.

In the case of executor, choose one that will be responsible for exercising the estate that you left according to your instructions. Make sure that the people you choose to handle the job would agree since it can be a very demanding job, depending on the wealth that you have accumulated. It is also wise to appoint a default or substitute executor in cases when your primary executor is unable to take up the responsibility.

When planning to draw up a will, it is also important to make specific legacies. If there are several items of great sentimental value as among your assets, make sure that you leave these items to named beneficiaries if you want them to stay preserved in the family for generations to come. What may be left of your estate after giving out specific legacies on your will is called the residue. You should also make sure that you specify to a certain beneficiary that this residual estate goes to.

Once you have drafted your will, make sure that you have it signed in front of two independent witnesses. The witnesses should not be someone that you have mentioned in your will. Failure to do so in any case would make the will void and not valid in court. And the last thing that you should bear in mind after correctly signing your newly drafted will and duly witnessed appropriately, you need to have it stored safely. It should be somewhere that would protect it from damage or loss. Your executors would be given a certificate that will detail where your will is stored and how to get hold of it when you die.

 

Posted by Ardent Editor on Mar 12 2008 in Estate Planning

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