A will is an important legal document to have; it helps ensure the wishes of the estate planner are accomplished and that their loved ones are cared for. Setting up a will can be complex but trained guidance can help make it simple for the estate planner to set up a will that works for them.
Steps for setting up a will
Some of the important steps for setting up a will can include:
- Selecting beneficiaries – the estate planner should select and designate the beneficiaries in their will that will receive their property and assets. Estate planners should also be specific in the will about which beneficiary will receive which property and assets.
- Select an executor for the estate – the estate planner should select and designate an executor for their estate. The executor will be responsible for ensuring the estate planner’s wishes in their will are carried out so the executor should be reliable and responsible. Executors are usually compensated for their work administering the estate.
- Select a guardian for children – the estate planner should select and designate a guardian for any minor children. A guardian should be selected carefully and it may be advisable to select several guardians in order of preference in case a designated guardian is unable to act as guardian.
- Signing, witness and storing the will – there are important requirements related to signing and witnesses the will that can vary based on where the estate planner lives. The estate planner should familiarize themselves with these requirements and ensure they are met. They should also select a safe place to store their will where it can be found when needed.
- Updating and reviewing the will – it is a good idea to regularly review and update the will especially as circumstances change over time. Whenever the estate planner experiences a major life even, such as a divorce, marriage, birth or death, they should consider updating their will.
A will usually serves as a cornerstone for an estate plan. For that reason, estate planners should be familiar with the steps for setting up a will and what they should include in their will.