However, life can be unpredictable and anything can happen to any one of us at any time, sometimes when we least expect it.
No matter how young or old, we’re mortal.
It’s Never to Early to Write a Simple Will
When your time comes, who will take care of your children? How will your assets such as money and property be distributed?
These are some of the important questions to consider and include in a simple will to ensure that your loved ones are protected financially and otherwise after your death.
It’s never too early to start writing a simple will.
A will is a legal document in which you give specific instructions to be carried out after your death.
Before you make an appointment with your lawyer to write a simple will, consider the following information which should be included in it.
List of Beneficiaries
A beneficiary is a person who gains benefits from your will. You should think about who your beneficiaries are and list them in your will.
Beneficiaries can include your:
- Legal dependents
- Other family members
- Relationship partner
- Charitable organizations
Name the Executor of Your Simple Will
An executor is a person or institution named in your will to carry out your wishes upon your death.
In your simple will, you should name an executor to:
- Collect and manage your assets
- Repay any debts
- Pay any expenses or taxes which might be owed
- Distribute your assets to your beneficiaries according to the instructions in your will, with the court’s approval
It’s important to ask the person first if he or she is comfortable being the executor of your will. Your executor serves a very important role and has significant responsibilities, so you should choose this person very carefully.
Appoint a Guardian For Your Children
Naming a guardian in your simple will is one of the most important things you’ll do as a parent but it can also be one of the hardest. Therefore, it’s important to carefully think about who you want to nominate as the person or people who will care for your children after your death. For example, if there isn’t a surviving spouse, grandparents might make the best guardians in the short-term but consider if they’re a viable option in the long-term. As your children’s grandparents age they may need more care themselves and might not be able to provide proper care for your children. Perhaps, in the long-run a close relative or friend might be a more suitable choice.
Regardless of who you choose as your children’s guardian, ask them first to make sure they feel comfortable with this responsibility.
Instructions For Distribution of Your Assets
Making a list of all valuable assets helps ensure you’re not accidentally leaving any significant property out of your simple will.
If you have significant property or assets, or multiple investments and financial arrangements, determining the best way to distribute those assets can get complicated. Once you’ve made a list, your lawyer can help you determine the most tax-efficient way to distribute your assets.
If you don’t have significant or complex assets that require legal guidance, you’ll simply need to decide who receives your assets and how they’ll be distributed.
Make sure you understand the types of property and assets to include in your simple will.
For example, the following types of property and assets can be included in a will:
- Real property, such as real estate, land, and buildings
- Cash, including money in checking accounts, savings accounts, and money market accounts
- Intangible personal property, such as stocks, bonds, and other forms of business ownership, as well as intellectual property, royalties, patents, and copyrights
- Unproductive property, such as valuable objects like cars, artwork, jewelry, and furniture
However, there are some property and assets that cannot be included in a will. You can find examples of these here.
Who Needs To Know About Your Simple Will
Once you’ve considered all of the above mentioned information you should contact a lawyer.
No one other than you and the lawyer who writes your simple will needs to know the contents of your will.
However, it’s important that your executor and your loved ones should know where to find it.
You should keep your original will in a secure place like a safe deposit box or a locked, fireproof box at your home or office.
Writing a will is never something we want to think about, but it is an important document to have at any age, and a key part of a comprehensive sound financial picture.