Wills act as a legal document, sharing someone’s final wishes about who should receive personal valuables when someone dies. Without one, the state could temporarily assume possession of accounts, leaving them unavailable until the courts work out final details; therefore, it’s is in people’s best interest to think about and write out last decisions. Consider the following six things as you put together your paperwork.
1. Make a List of Assets
Start by reviewing any holdings. Anything of financial or sentimental value should be included. Where do you have investments? Be detailed, including the name of the accounts and where they are held. In addition, don’t neglect to mention any stocks, property, jewelry or possessions. Itemize them so that there is no confusion.
2. Decide on Beneficiaries
Who inherits your estate? Note the beneficiaries. Detail who gets which item, if the transfer is shared and any stipulations that should be considered.
3. Select Guardians
Parents should choose someone to assume guardianship of children. Families often tend to pick someone who is already close to the kids, understands their needs and can provide for the kids financially and emotionally.
4. Assign an Executor
An executor is in charge of following through with the will’s requests. This person is ideally someone who handles responsibility well and who has time and patience.
5. Make it Official
Once the documentation is finished, it must be made official. Witnesses should sign it, validating the claims. This can be done in an office or with the assistance of a notary service such as Mobile Notary California.
6. Store It Safely
Place the copy somewhere out of harm’s way. A bank deposit box or a fire safe could provide a bit more security. In addition, give a copy to someone you trust. Instruct that person where to locate the official version.
Planning ahead is just a way to be proactive, creating some order during a time that may be chaotic and emotional. Lay out the details now to avoid confusion later.