Nobody knows when you’ll leave this world for good. While you may not be afraid to die, you may be somehow concerned about your family’s financial future when you pass away. This is where estate planning enters the picture. It refers to the process of arranging the management and disposition of an individual’s assets in the event they become incapacitated or die.
Generally, one of the estate planning instruments that you may want to consider is a will. Writing a will is essential to ensuring that your affairs are handled properly after you pass away. If you are unfamiliar with how to write a will, that’s understandable. There’s a lot that goes into the document, and it takes pre-planning to make sure that it’s done properly.
Are you wondering what to include in a will? If you are, continue reading below.
What Is a Will?
A will is a legal document that explains what should happen with your assets and possessions after you pass away. If you do not write out a will, your heirs will be determined by the court system.
Not only is a will vital for determining who will receive your inheritance, but there are other important details that should be added, like who will be the executor of your estate.
Keep in mind that a will doesn’t cover everything. Therefore, you should consider writing a living will that explains what to do in case of a health emergency and who you would like to handle your medical decisions, etc.
On the other hand, it’s also important to know and understand the benefits of drafting a will. These can include:
- It reduces estate taxes: When you write a will, you’ll have an opportunity to get the most out of estate planning tools to minimize estate and the inheritance taxes you may have to pay when your beneficiaries receive their inheritance.
- It helps prevent family disputes: Having a will can help prevent any conflict among your family members. Since your will includes details as to who gets what from your estate, you can make sure your loved ones won’t be embroiled in a legal matter as to how they will divide your assets after your death.
Indeed, having a will has several benefits. But aside from the ones mentioned above, creating a will can help you facilitate the probate process easily.
Probate refers to a legal proceeding allowing for the deceased person’s estate to be administered and distributed accordingly. It’s also intended to validate the deceased’s will. However, dealing with probate can be tricky if you are not familiar with the process, which is why seeking help from an experienced attorney who specializes in the law pertaining to estate planning and probate can be an excellent idea.
What to Include in a Will
There are key pieces of information that you must include in your will when you write it. Here’s what it should detail:
You should include your personal information when you write a will. It should state your full name, birthday, and address. It’s a good idea to add your aliases and write the names of your spouse and other family members.
Your will is required to contain the correct legal language that explains that the document is indeed a will. For instance, one of the most common ways to start a will is by stating “This is my last will and testament”. The testamentary intent is a requirement for a valid will.
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Benefits and Assets
Next on your will should be the individuals that you’ll gift your assets. You can pass along money, assets, real estate, and personal belongings. The beneficiary of the will can be a friend, charity, family member, or trust.
Be sure to name the beneficiaries if you want them to receive something from you. This is especially true if the person isn’t legally connected by blood. If they are not next of kin, their names must be spelled out in your will.
Appointment of Executive
You need a personal representative to carry out the terms and conditions of your will. They’ll be in charge of distributing assets to your beneficiaries and managing your affairs once you pass away. The AOE will pay your debts and file your final tax return. This person can either be a family member or a lawyer.
What to Include in a Will
We hope this information helps you learn what to include in a will. Once you’ve handled all of your affairs, you’ll feel much better about ensuring that your loved ones are taken care of when you’re no longer here.
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