The Do's And Don'ts Of Making A Will

Posted on: 2 June 2015

If you want to make a will that decides what happens to your property after you die, there are some things you should do and others you should avoid. Before you get started, make sure you understand the following do's and don'ts of making a will.

Do: List your property and who will inherit it

One of the first things you will do when making your will is decide what property you want listed in the will and assign that property to someone. Include your most significant assets, such as vehicles, homes or property, precious valuables, and bank account assets. Then decide who will inherit each of these. You may want them to be split up equally between your spouse and children, or you might have specific property going to specific people.

Also choose alternative people for the inheritance. If you have your spouse listed to inherit your home but they are in the same accident as you, you should have a child or other close relative as an alternative. This also helps just in case someone refuses an inheritance.

Do: Name an executor

An executor is someone that will handle your estate and be sure the terms of your will are carried out correctly. When creating a will, make sure you name someone as an executor. Be sure this is not only someone that is trustworthy and responsible, but someone who would be up for the challenge. It can be a difficult job, and while they have the right to refuse it, they should at least be aware of it.

Don't: Forget to choose a guardian for your children

Choosing someone who can take care of your children if you and your spouse are unable to is a very important part of a will. Many young couples don't do this because they can't foresee something bad happening to them, but it is an important protection to have for your children. Choose someone trustworthy and who already knows your children. This allows them to feel more comfortable with this person if something happens to you. When preparing this section of the will, also choose someone to manage the children's property until they are old enough to manage it themselves.

Don't: Sign it without a witness

When your will is written up, you need to sign it in front of witnesses. Even if you did the entire will on your own, you can't just sign it and assume it is legally binding. You must have more than one person witnesses you signing it without being forced to do so. You must be in a good mental state to sign it. If you recently went through a traumatic experience or are not of sound mind, you might want to wait before completing and signing the will. At least have a lawyer look it over before you sign it. Contact a firm like Skeen Law Offices for more information.