Will

A Comprehensive Guide to Will Preparation

Have you thought about making your will yet? It’s something that a lot of people put off because it means they have to think about their own death, but it’s actually one of the most important things you can do in life, so it’s certainly something that you shouldn’t ignore.

Once you’ve made your will, you won’t have to think about it again, unless something changes which means you have to amend it, of course, so it’s a good idea to get it done sooner rather than later so you can focus on living, not dying.

With this in mind, here’s a comprehensive guide to will preparation that should help you understand more about why making a will is important, and how to get started creating your own. Read on to find out more.

Why Is A Will Important? 

To put it simply, a will is a legal document that lays out exactly what you want to happen to everything you own, including your money, when you die. You can write down who you want to receive what, or even if you want to leave a gift to charity with Macmillan charity wills, for example.

Why is this important? Well, for one thing, it gives you peace of mind, knowing what’s going to happen, plus it can help your friends and family once you’ve gone. Without a will, your estate will be intestate, which means it will be broken up and distributed according to the local laws, and it could be that people receive gifts who you don’t want to, and vice versa. If you want to make sure everyone gets what you want them to, you’ll need to make a will.

What’s Included In A Will? 

Although the precise contents of your will are going to be unique to you, there are some elements that have to be included, no matter what your assets are or who you want to receive what. These are:

Executor

You’ll have to name an executor in your will, so think carefully about this. This is the person whose job it will be to oversee the will and make sure it’s all handled properly, so they need to be calm under pressure and organized.

Beneficiaries 

It probably goes without saying that you’ll need to mention beneficiaries in your will as well. These are the people who you want to receive some or all of your estate and assets once you’ve gone, so this is your chance to put in all the detail needed to ensure everyone is given what you want them to have.

Guardians

If you’ve got children under 18, you’ll need to appoint guardians for them just in case. The best thing to do is to discuss this with the person or people you’re considering because they’ll need to agree first; it’s unfair to surprise them with being guardians should the worst happen.

Steps To Prepare Your Will 

So, what should you do when you want to prepare your will? The first thing to do is list out all your assets—everything you own, in other words—so you know what you’ve got to give away. Plus, you’ll need to have all the details about any debts you might have; your executor will have to use your estate to pay them off first, before they can start distributing it to your beneficiaries.

If they don’t, they could end up in a lot of trouble. Then you’ll need to choose an executor – as we mentioned above, whoever you choose needs to be a trustworthy and highly organized person, as well as someone who has the time to dedicate to dealing with your will; it’s something that could take months, and it’s definitely hard work, so it’s also wise to discuss the task with the person you choose so they can agree (or not) before you sign them up.

Once you’ve listed out who you want to get what, you’ll need to sign the will and have two people witness it. The witnesses can’t also be beneficiaries, otherwise they’ll invalidate the will, and all your hard work will be for nothing, so make sure you pick the right people.

Once the will is signed and witnessed, you should keep it in a safe place (if it’s a physical document, you can keep it in a safe or at your bank, for example, and if it’s a digital will, you can store it online in the cloud so it can be accessed when needed) and let the executor know where it is.

Final Thoughts 

As daunting as writing a will might seem, it’s a job that really should be done to give you peace of mind and to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of when you pass away. Once it’s done, that’s the end of it, so it’s well worth ticking off your to-do list.

If you’re having problems and perhaps don’t know how to start, get some professional help and advice rather than putting the job off, as it’ll make you feel a lot better when it’s done.

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