Getting your last will and testament ready certainly isn’t something you look forward to doing, but it’s important all the same. If you don’t put together a thorough will, you may be leaving a mess behind for your family to fix. It’s better to make a difficult time a bit easier for them by sorting everything out in advance. As you prepare your will, here are four tips that will help you with it.
List All Your Assets and Debts
Before you can decide what to do with your possessions and liabilities, you need to know what those are. Put together a document that has everything you own and everything you owe. You don’t necessarily need to itemize every belonging, but you should separate major possessions, such as your home and your car. If you have quite a few debts, it’s best to pay off as many as possible to avoid leaving those for your next of kin.
Select Your Beneficiaries
Once you’ve recorded your assets, you’ll need to figure out who you’re going to leave those assets to. If you have multiple beneficiaries, then you’ll also need to decide how you’re going to divide your assets among them. With younger beneficiaries, you may want to set up a trust. If you do, the beneficiary receives payouts from the trust at specific ages, such as 25, 30 and 35. This reduces the likelihood of the beneficiary spending a large sum of money as soon as they get it.
Choose the Executor
The executor is the person who manages your will and ensures that the beneficiaries receive what you left them. You’ll need to choose an executor who is able to manage the types of assets you have. Depending on the complexity of your will, you could choose a friend, family member or your attorney.
Work with an Attorney
To ensure that your will is valid and set up properly, you should work with an estate planning attorney like Leon J Teichner & Associates, P.C. or someone similar. This will go much more quickly if you’ve done all the prep work yourself already, although an attorney can help you with that if you haven’t. After the attorney draws up the will, then it’s complete.
Although writing your will isn’t pleasant, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief when you have it completed. Stick to the steps above and it won’t take you long.
Author information: Kare Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max. You can find Kara on Facebook and Twitter.