Writing a last will can elicit a feeling of sombre finality. After all, the purpose of doing so is to ensure that after you’ve gone, your estate (all your property, possessions etc.) will go to the people you deeply care about.
While it may be difficult and daunting to get started on a last will and testament, the following tips below will go through the important steps in the process.
Seek out the advice and expertise of an attorney
Writing a will shouldn’t be done by yourself. If you fail to follow the relevant legal considerations, some of your wishes may not be executed properly or in full.
That’s why it’s important to consult an attorney as you draft your will. There are lawyers that specialise in wills and probate and are in the best position to give the right advice.
Specific burial plans may be communicated in other ways
Whether you intend to hire a funeral service director in London or elsewhere, indicating burial plans in your will may not be the best approach to ensure they are followed. Going through the estate and probate proceedings normally doesn’t happen until the funeral takes place.
Instead, you may create a separate document (apart from the will) for your loved ones or close friends, detailing issues like how you should be buried, whether cremation is an option or not and so on.
Of course, don’t just depend on this document. Be open to your family and talk to them directly. Walk them through your specific wishes on how you want to be laid to rest.
Determine estate value
Work with your attorney in determining how much all your estate is worth. This covers assets like:
- Your house or other lots under your name
- Savings accounts
- Insurance policies and other investments
- Personal belongings and other household items
It’s also crucial to identify any existing debts like mortgage, credit card balance, loans and others.
Think about the people who will receive a portion of your estate and identify them clearly in the will. Are there any special considerations or gifts to be given to certain individuals?
Given that life can be unpredictable, you should also have a special provision that will specify what will happen in the event that any of your beneficiaries should pass before you do.
Appoint an executor of your will
This is essentially the person that will initiate the wishes stated in your will. To that end, the executor will begin distributing your estate after your passing. It’s a role that should be considered very carefully.
Indicate a cause to support
If there are still assets leftover even after allocating to your beneficiaries, you may wish to offer the residue of the estate to a cause which you’re passionate about. Just make sure to identify the full name of the charity or nonprofit organisation, as well as address and registration number.
Make final wishes count
There are other considerations to take into account when you’re making a will. The important thing is to seek out the advice of experts and trusted family members early on to avoid impediments to the fulfillment of your last wishes.