How To Get Started
When it comes to writing a will, it is a rather confusing process.
There are companies online and on TV that state they can write a will for you. However, why, then, are there legal teams that offer the same service? Also, you may have heard you can write your will yourself; is a DIY will less valid?
If you are puzzled, don’t worry! There are some steps to follow that will make sure that any will you have is legally binding and valid.
So, what are the steps you need to take to get your will written? Read on to find out!
Get Your Estate Valued
OK, so most people hear the word estate and think it means a huge property with a tennis court and a swimming pool.
However, when it comes to writing a will, an estate is usually a home or other property that you own, as well as any cars, investments, savings, and other valuables that you have. There are complete estate planning solutions that can help with this area and will be able to professionally value your estate and help you mitigate any taxes that your family may have to pay, such as inheritance tax.
Once the estate has been valued, you will need to decide how to divide it.
Who in your family do you want to inherit your home, your car, and any other assets that you have? If you have an extended family to whom you want to give some of your assets, you will need to contact an estate planner or a probate lawyer to help you, as extended family, such as stepchildren, are not entitled to your estate when you pass away.
Now, onto a touchy subject based on how close-knit your family is; who is going to be the executor of your estate?
Executors are the people who ensure that your assets are divided according to your wishes after you pass away. It is also worth noting that an executor will also be responsible for paying off any debts that you have, and they are usually actively involved in the funeral planning too.
So, make sure you choose wisely; if you have no close family, you can even select your probate lawyer to be your executor if you want.
Get The Will Written
Now, onto the will itself.
You don’t have to pay a fortune to get a will written, and if you have a small estate, then you can even write the will yourself or have it drawn up by a charity.
If you opt for a lawyer, make sure that they are licensed to write wills and make sure that they are specialized in probate law. Alternatively, there are professional will writers too, who can write the document for you but make sure that they are a member of a professional will writing institute before you hire them.
Make Sure It is Valid
As mentioned before, you need to make sure that anyone who writes your will is legally qualified to do so as, if they aren’t, the will is invalid.
Next, when you sign the will, it needs to be witnessed by two people, or it isn’t valid. If you are an older person, it may need to be checked that you understand the will and have the capacity to understand the ramifications of it.