Writing a will is often postponed until major life events occur. You don't have to wait until you buy a home or become a parent to craft this document. Writing a will is important to your loved ones. Putting your desires on paper makes things clear for your heirs. When you do decide to create your will, don't fall into the trap of overlooking important details. These are the top four things you need to include in your will.
1. Name of executor
This person is responsible for ensuring your will is carried out as it is written. Your executor will be responsible for dividing your property and assets accordingly. Some people you may consider naming as your executor include the following:
- An adult child
- Your spouse
- A trusted relative or friend
- An attorney
Your executor also has the power to pay any bills and negotiate with debt collectors. You may consider naming joint executors. For example, you may name a trusted friend and an attorney as joint executors. Some people feel more comfortable when someone they personally trust and a legal expert are each given responsibility.
2. Personal asset distribution
If you desire to leave particular assets to heirs, indicate this in your will. These are common beneficiaries of these assets:
- Business colleagues
- Charitable organizations
Assets included in this section are typically personal items, money and real estate.
3. Directives for digital assets
Digital assets are crucial in today's society. Online accounts, domain names and websites can all be of economic value and be passed down via your will. Include passwords and account numbers within your will. Do not neglect information regarding your social media accounts even though they may not be of value. You may wish for your social media accounts to be taken over or shut down by a specific person.
4. Designate a guardian for minor children
If you have a minor child and the other parent is not around, a personal guardian must take responsibility. This person becomes responsible for your children until they are legal adults. The child's other parent can name the same person in his or her will to avoid any future conflict or confusion from arising.
When you're prepared to begin your estate planning, carefully consider how you want your property and assets to be handled and distributed. If you want to ensure everything is done according to legal standards, a professional estate attorney can provide assistance in the creation of your will.