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4 Important Steps in Writing Your Will

— November 23, 2022

Once you write a will, don’t assume you’ll never need to look at it again.

Though it’s something you probably don’t like to think about, the fact is you won’t live forever. Just like taxes, death will be inevitable at some point along the way. Rather than leave your family wondering about your final wishes or possibly a legal struggle over your assets, you can choose to write a will long before it will actually be needed. This will not only give you peace of mind, but your loved ones as well. When doing so, always take these four important steps to ensure all goes well.

Select Your Executor

In all likelihood, this will be the most important decision you make when writing your will. The executor of your will is the person you choose to be in charge of handling your estate after your death. Needless to say, it needs to be someone you know well and completely trust to carry out your final wishes. Whether your executor is a family member or friend, always talk to them beforehand to make sure they are comfortable being put in this important position of authority.

Name Your Beneficiaries

After you know who your will’s executor will be, you should concentrate on deciding who will be the beneficiaries of your estate. In most cases, beneficiaries will be your family members and perhaps some close friends. In some instances, you may want to make a charitable organization one of your beneficiaries as well, especially if it is a cause that has been close to your heart. Take time to think through these decisions and consult for trusted individuals, if necessary. 

Work with an Attorney

While many people choose to write their wills using online software, it is usually much better if you work closely with a will attorney, especially if you have a large and complex estate. By working with an attorney, you can lay out your plans in great detail, get answers to your questions, and make sure your will doesn’t contain mistakes that could result in long legal battles among your family members after your death. 

Update Your Will as Needed

Purple flowers on paper with pen; image by Debby Hudson, via
Purple flowers on paper with pen; image by Debby Hudson, via

Once you write a will, don’t assume you’ll never need to look at it again. Should you experience certain life changes, such as getting divorced or remarried, having more children, or coming into additional assets along the way, you should consult with your attorney and have your will examined and updated as soon as possible. Should you procrastinate and die unexpectedly before changing your will, this could result in your loved ones being unable to inherit parts of your estate.

By not putting off until tomorrow what you can do today in terms of writing your will, you and your loved ones can gain tremendous peace of mind about making sure your final wishes will be carried out just as you would want. Make sure to follow these steps to have your will legally binding, and done in a fashion that you approve of. This is a wonderful way to ensure that your hard earned assets go to the right sources upon your passing. 

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