Making a Will to Protect Your Family: Things You Should Know

Making a will is seldom easy. For many people, making a will incites thoughts of death and it’s never comfortable to think about the days when you’ll no longer be in this world. Yet, death is inevitable and we cannot wait until we’re no longer here to plan for that event. Failing to plan for your family now is certainly not an option. It is easy to make a will and provides assurance that your wishes are met and your family protected when that dreadful day arrives.

What is a Will?

A will is a simple document that specifies your wishes for personal belongings left behind after your death. This document is a legally-binding document as long as it is written in your own handwriting and meets all legal requirements set forth in the legal guidebook. While a will written on a paper napkin would be acceptable, it is much easier to create a professionally-drafted will using templates, or at a minimum, notebook paper. Do not assume that your estate isn’t considerable enough to arrant need for a will. If you have specific requests for division of your property and want to help your family avoid the lengthy probate process, it is important to draft a will now.

How to Make a Will

Many DIY will kits are available for purchase online. Sold at various prices, these DIY will kits are easy-to-use and provide the perfect template for drafting a legal will. These kits are perfectly fine to use, but it is best that you have a professional real estate attorney like those at glance over it to ensure that there’s no legal issues standing in the way of the will’s legitimacy. The lawyer can also help you write the will if you prefer.

Tips for Making a Will

When writing your will, consider all of your assets. This includes your home, property inside of the home, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, etc. Determine where you’d like these items to go after you’ve passed away, whether it is to a family member, a close friend, or even a charitable organization. Donating to a charitable organization can reduce property taxes and other estate fees that your family is responsible to pay.

If there are the parent of minor children, specify the person(s) you’d like to serve as guardian should you die. It is best that you discuss the matter with the person before automatically putting them in the will. It is important they’re comfortable accepting such massive responsibilities.

You’ll need someone to serve as executor of the will. This shouldn’t be a person that is in your immediate family or who’ve you’ve left an inheritance since it could cause conflict of interest. It should, however, be someone that you trust to handle division of your property.

Final Thoughts

Protecting your family is as simple as writing a will before it is too late. Keep the information above in mind as you prepare your will to further simplify the already easy process.  However, there are also other options that may be an advantage for you and your beneficiary such as making a transfer on death deed. Using a TOD deed can be a more viable option since properties can be automatically transferred to the new owner upon death of the current owner without having to go through probate. Knowing the pros and cons of whatever option you choose will be best for an easier and appropriate process.  The assurance and peace of mind that comes after you’ve made a will makes the entire process worthwhile when the day is done.