Writing a last will and testament introduction

How to Write a Will – What You Need to Know

In July 20, 2018

It’s a topic most people don’t want to think about, especially at a young age, but it is important. We are talking about who needs a will and how to write one. And yes, you do need a will. You might be thinking “but I am young, single, and don’t really own anything, I don’t need a will” which seems like logical thinking, but everyone can benefit from a will. Whether you’re a wealthy, married and well established home owner or someone who is just starting out on their own, having legal documentation of your wishes for property and assets in case of an unexpected life ending accident is extremely beneficial. Here are instructions on how to write a will, broken down into a few easy-to-follow steps.

How To Write a Will:

First things first, determine whether or not you will be looking for the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney or if you’ll be writing your own will. There are pro’s and con’s to each side that you should consider. While an attorney may cost between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars to assist in writing a will, they are experienced with how to write a clear and legally binding will. Writing your own will saves you money, but can cost your loved ones money later and can cause family feuds if it is vague or legally unclear.

Say you’ve decided to write your own will, here is a step-by-step guide to help you along.

Step 1: Research your state laws on writing your own will. Determine how many witnesses must be present at the time of writing, how many need to sign your document, and whether or not the document must be handwritten or typed and printed. Pro-Tip! Services like Legal Zoom and RocketLawyer offer a paid DIY will making software.

Step 2: Start your will by writing a clear introduction which states this is your last will and testament along with your full name, address, age, and that you are writing this under your own free will and while in good mental health. If this is not your first will, you can also write a date confirming that this is the most recent and up to date document.

Step 3: Declare an executor who will be the one person to administer your will. This is often a spouse or trusted family member.

Step 4: If you have children, declare who you would like as their legal guardian.

Step 5: Define who your beneficiaries will be and make it as clear as possible who these people are so there isn’t any confusion at the time your executor presents the will.

Step 6: Clearly state which beneficiary will be receiving specific property and assets of yours. This includes real estate, money/bank accounts, insurance policies, items like jewelry, cars, etc. You will can list every single item you own and who you would like it to go to, no item is too small or too big to be included.

Step 7: Sign your completed will and have your witnesses sign it also.

Step 8: If required by your state, have the document notarized.

If you decide to use an attorney to help you with writing your will, the steps will likely be very similar. Your attorney will be able to guide you through each step and will inform you of all of the necessary documents you’ll need to complete your will. Simply look for an attorney in your area who is experienced in estate planning which includes making a will for their clients.

At VitalChek, we help you get your vital records in order in case of any life event. Whether you need to get a replacement birth certificate or you need a copy of a death certificate to aid in settling an estate, we are here to help. Simply start an online order for the certificate you need and we’ll guide you each step of the way.

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