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Writing your Will : Where To Start
Having a will and your inevitable death are things we hate to think about. In some cultures they believe that even discussing a will is a bad omen and could call the grime reaper to your door step.
However, having a Will before you move on to the next life, would save your family some heartache when you leave. Then begs the question, where do you begin and how do you distribute what you have?
Well, we have done all the thinking for you…this is what a Will is all about.
A Will is the legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and/or the care of minor children, once you die.
Why do you need to create one?
- To be able to have sole discretion over the distribution of your assets.
- It will provide for minor children in your care.
- A will will help minimise tension between survivors.
- It allows you to disinherit individuals who would otherwise stand to inherit.
- To leave assets to charity.
Not convinced yet…the alternative of not having one is much worse. Because upon your death;
- This means you die intestate, and the courts have to be involved to oversee distribution of your assets.
- Minors or dependents in your care may not receive that which you may prefer they receive on your demise.
- It will potentially cause a conflict within the family.
So…what should you include in one?
Anything and everything you own other than the following:
- Community property.
- Life insurance payouts.
- Joint assets with survivor rights (joint tenancies).
- Investment accounts that are designated as transferable on death.
And finally what will you need to create one:
- List of your assets.
- List of your debts.
- 2 Witnesses who will not benefit from the it.
- An Executor/Personal Representative to oversee the distribution of your assets.
- A Trustee to be in charge of any trusts you create. The Executor and Trustee can be the same person.
This all means that you don’t need a lawyer to prepare your will, though an experienced lawyer can provide useful advice on planning strategies. You will be valid as long as your will meets the legal requirements of your country.
For great drafts, do an online search on do-it-yourself wills and get writing, because tomorrow is not promised.
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