DIY Wills: What Should Be Included?
While many people might think that they don't need to make a will, there are several good reasons for you to make one. When you're in the pursuit of securing the future of your family and loved ones, drafting a will is one of the most important steps you can take in your lifetime. By stipulating everything in advance, you will leave no ambiguity about how you wish to distribute your assets upon your death.
Death is inevitable, so it pays to be very proactive about this. In drafting your will, there are generally two routes that you can take. One route is to engage the help of a lawyer, and the other way is to opt for a DIY will by drafting it yourself.
If you're leaning towards the latter option, here are some aspects that you should never forget to incorporate in your will:
1. All The Properties To Be Included In Your Will
A significant point, to begin with, is that you don't have to include all your properties in your will. You can choose which ones to add and which ones to leave out.
The properties you don't include in your will shall be left at the discretion of the courts or your local state to distribute to your heirs, following your state's succession laws. The properties that you do include as a part of your will would be distributed according to your specifications.
2. Special Powers Of Attorney
When you're writing your will, take note that this document isn't the only one you'll have to make. To ensure that all of your wishes stated in the will shall be carried out accordingly, you'll also have to prepare and attach the necessary supporting documents.
The most important of these documents are the special powers of attorney, which can also be your financial and health powers of attorney. These documents authorize a particular individual to sign or take actions according to your will on your behalf, when you're no longer around. Without these documents, your heirs may have a hard time processing all that's rightfully theirs, as you've laid out in your will.
To help you in this regard, Willed is a website that offers you guidance for custom designing your will, making the entire process simple and cost-effective.
3. All The Heirs To Inherit The Properties In Your Will
After you've stipulated all the properties that are to be probated as a part of your will, you'll also have to mention the specific heirs that are to receive each of these properties. You will have to be very specific about this, so that there's no room for any dispute or confusion regarding the distribution of assets.
For instance, Property A goes to Son 1, Property B goes to Daughter 1, and so on.
This is very important because money and properties can always lead to disputes, even in close-knit families. Another scenario in which this becomes absolutely necessary is when some of your children are still minors who will need child support, should you suddenly die. In fact, it is best to leave nothing to chance and be sure to provide alternative heirs to each property, just in case your first choice also doesn't survive.
4. A Witness Or Witnesses To Your Will
Wills cannot be probated in court as legal and binding when they're made in the absence of a witness. Often, this witness or witnesses are those individuals that you can trust to testify in court in your absence.
Their purpose is to prove that you did create the will by yourself, using your penmanship, for instance, and that the signature is also yours. The witness may also be a trustworthy individual who can post pieces of documentary evidence, such as a signature specimen from other documents that'll match your signature.
In doing so, the court will be assured that the will they're allowing to be probated isn't a fraud. Otherwise, it could be easy for family members to put up a pretence and assume your identity to create false wills in your name, for their own benefit.
5. An Executor To Handle Your Estate
An executor to handle your estate upon your death should also be included and stipulated in your will. Bear in mind that you would be giving full responsibility to this person to carry out the terms of your will. As you nominate your executor, it's best that you also give them a heads up about this while you're still alive. That way, they will not be left clueless and at a loss as to what to do, once you're already gone.Generally, your will's executor can be your wife, any of your children, a trusted friend, or a relative.
While writing a will seems to be a prudent decision, not a lot of people choose to do it. After all, it's not the most pleasant of all tasks to carry out. The moment that you actually write a will, it's as if you're also acknowledging your demise. However, even though you may find such a scenario unpleasant, there are many benefits to be gained from creating a will ahead of time. With this list of inclusions, now you can get started by drafting a will all by yourself.