You’ve probably heard multiple people speak about wills, but when you consider creating one for yourself, you could be putting it off. Unfortunately, this could be an unwise decision. A will is simply a document that states what your final wishes are for your life, your assets and your death. It’s an essential part of planning your future because it takes care of all the nitty gritty details your family would otherwise have to stress over. When you die, a county court will read it and make sure your wishes are upheld. It doesn’t have to take a long time to create, and it doesn’t mean you’re going to die tomorrow.
What Facts Are Included In a Will?
Wills are going to be different for each individual, but the following are some typical facts and items of business you would want to consider.
- Naming an executor, or the individual who will ensure your wishes are carried out.
- Naming guardians for your children if they are minors at the time of your death.
- Determining how to pay your debts and taxes.
- Giving instructions for what to do with your pets.
In most cases, you wouldn’t want to put a condition on what you’re leaving particular individuals. Final arrangements for your funeral and burial wouldn’t be included in the will either. There are other documents that are part of an estate plan that would contain those details.
Are There Legal Requirements for Making a Will?
There aren’t a whole lot of legal requirements for making a will, though you’ll probably want to speak with an attorney to make sure you get it all squared away. Some of the very few requirements include:
- Having capacity and being of sound mind.
- Naming beneficiaries in a document for some or all of your property.
- Signing the document.
- Having two witnesses also sign the document.
Notarizing your will isn’t required in any state, but it could make probate easier after you die. For this reason, you may want to have it notarized. A holographic will, or one that is handwritten and unsigned by witnesses, could also be made if that is your only option, but chances are it won’t hold up too well after your death.
Learning More and Getting Started
When it comes time to make plans about your life and your death, it’s helpful to speak with an attorney. If you’re ready to learn more about wills, contact an estate attorney, like the attorneys at Klenk Law to discuss your obligations.