writing a will
Legal Personal Finances

5 Steps To Follow Before Leaving A Will

You must’ve heard many stories about people fighting for inheritance. Sometimes these stories are so ugly and unbelievable. Well, this is what could happen, when a will isn’t clear or well written. You certainly don’t people you don’t like or even don’t know claiming your wealth after you died.

If you don’t want this to happen to your kids or relatives, you should prepare your will in the best way possible. It doesn’t matter even if your wealth or estate isn’t as large or complex as others, you still need a plan in place to prevent all sorts of problems.

Make a complete list of your belonging

You might own all sorts of valuable things like jewelry, vinyl collection, cars, computer, and including the home itself. Pretty much anything that you own can be valuable to you or other people. Without a complete list, your will is going to seem unclear and might create new problems later.

Don’t be surprised when you find out your list is much longer than you have initially expected. It’s normal, and I bet you’re glad now that you’re doing this. You can also assign a name to each item to make it clear who will receive the item after your death. 

Make a complete list of your debts

Make another list, but this is for your debts and other obligations. Put everything that you owe, including auto loans, mortgages, and other debts. Don’t forget to add more details like account numbers, where the signed agreements are stored, and contact information of all parties involved.

Check your retirement accounts and insurance

If you’re responsible for your money, you should already have retirement accounts. Your retirement accounts can be passed directly to other people after your death. Check with your banks to get more information regarding this and make sure that your retirement accounts can be passed to the right people with no problems.

If your retirement accounts are tied to your job, contact your employer or their customer team. See if you have listed the beneficiary designations to your retirement accounts. People who have divorced or remarried are the ones with the most problems with this.

Same thing with your insurance. It can be passed on to beneficiaries. To make sure that the beneficiaries’ names are listed, contact the insurance companies and see if the beneficiaries are correct. Do this to all of your accounts and insurance to make sure everything is in order.

Start creating a will

Do you know that everyone over 18 should have a will? If you don’t have a will, you should make one right now. It is the most important thing when it comes to transferring your assets without problems.

If you are a parent, you can decide who will be the guardian of your children. Same for pet owners, you can assign a name that will receive your pet after your death. You can also name charitable organizations to receive your assets if you wish to.

Writing a will can be as easy as you want it to be. For example, you can hire a lawyer to help you write a will and plan your assets. The fee will depend on the complexity of your assets and location. If you want, you can also write it yourself. There are plenty of online services that can help you write it for cheap.

The tricky thing would be validating your will. You need to put a date on your will and sign it in front of two non-related witnesses. These witnesses should also sign the document. Next, you can have it notarized and store it somewhere safe.

Update your will regularly

Will isn’t a final decision, so you may update it if you wish to do so. You can review it once every three to four months, it’s up to you. Especially after a major event in your life like the death of a family member, divorce, marriage, the birth of a child, or acquiring new assets.

You’ll likely make a lot of changes throughout your life. Even in a short amount of time. So be prepared to change a few things from your will.

Plan well and your family will thank you

Your will is crucial not only for you but also for other people, more so for other people. Because they will be the ones who have to deal with it. A will can also help people mourn and spend some time processing everything after your death.

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