Making a Will: The Checklist

by M-Gillies

The consequences of dying without a will can be serious. If you don't make a will everything you own is distributed under rules laid down by law irrespective of the wishes of your family.

1. Decide which property will be included in the will:
When preparing to write a will, it is best to list your significant assets.

2. Decide who will inherit included property:
While it isn’t hard for most people to decide who gets what, it is always important to include alternative (contingent) beneficiaries in case your first choices don’t survive you.

3. Choose an executor to handle your estate:
No matter what, every will should name someone to serve as an executor to carry out the terms of the will, without one, wills can often end up in probate with a court ruling an executor to oversee the terms of the will.

4. Choose a guardian for your children:
It is important to name a guardian for your children if your children are under the age of 18.

5. Choose someone to mange the inheritance of your children:
When leaving property to children or young adults, a chosen adult is appointed to oversee and manage their inheritance until the children reach the age stipulated in a will or living trust.

6. Make your will:
Once all of the above decisions have been decided upon, the process of writing the will can begin.

7. Sign your will in front of witness:
When the will is finished, it will need to be signed in the presence of at least two witnesses in order to avoid any discrepancies or disagreements which may arise to the validity of the will.

8. Store your will safely:
The final step is informing the executor where your will is and how to gain access to it when the time comes.

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