If the idea of preparing a will feels overwhelming, know that you are not alone. For many people, it is a daunting task to not only create a legal document, but have to think about a time when you are no longer here with those you cherish most. Writing a will is an important step in effectively protecting your legacy so that it is easily and quickly distributed to beneficiaries upon your passing.
Writing a will doesn’t have to come along with a sense of dread. Here are tips that can make drafting a will that much less stressful:
Wills aren’t only for the wealthy.
Opposite to what most people believe, you don’t have to be old in age or have an exorbitant amount of wealth in order to need a will. If any of these characteristics apply to you, then you can benefit from having a will:
- You own a house or other property
- You have a career
- You are older than 18 years
- You have investments or savings
- You have dependents, children, or pets
- You have sentimental items to pass on
Start by writing a list of assets.
Many people begin writing their will by drafting a list of their belongings, including tangible and intangible items. Once you have this list finished, you will be able to move onto the next step with a lawyer. Assets can include property, stocks, bonds, intellectual property, cash in savings/checking accounts, and valuables such as family heirlooms, art, jewelry, and more.
Consider those closest to you.
Another task you will have to complete is deciding who your beneficiaries are. Who is closest to you? And are there charitable organizations you have been a part of or want to contribute to? Beneficiaries can be family, friends, or charity. Think about who you’d want to have a piece of your legacy after passing on. As our will lawyer friends at W.B. Moore, Attorney at Law would agree with, it’s better to get started early on an estate plan, and then update it as time goes on and life events happen.