Most people do not like to think about writing a will, but everyone needs one. No matter your age, you need to understand the process of creating and updating a will so that your final wishes will be honored. This is especially true if you have children or pets who will need to be cared for in your absence. Here is what you need to understand about preparing your will, also called estate planning.
You Should Consult With a Lawyer
Technically, you can make a will yourself. There are some websites and software you could use. However, a will is a complex legal document, and it is easy for you to make a mistake that would make your will invalid. It is best to speak with a lawyer like John Branca who specializes in estate planning.
An estate attorney will know all of the state and federal laws that apply to preparing and executing a will.
There Are Some Legal Terms You Need To Know
Your estate attorney will ask you who your heirs, beneficiaries, executor and witnesses will be. Your heirs are your closest blood relatives; these are the people who will usually inherit your property. However, they may not automatically receive an inheritance unless they are written in your will as beneficiaries. A beneficiary is a person or group that you assign in your will to receive your money and property when you die.
Every will has to have at least one executor. This should be someone you trust to calculate exactly how much your estate is worth, pay any remaining bills you have and distribute your remaining money and property as you have set out in your will.
When you create a will, you will need witnesses to sign it. The number of witnesses required varies by state. Your witnesses should be family members or friends who are not named in your will and are therefore impartial.