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How to Write a Will

How to Write a Will

Will Template and Explanation

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Creating a will may seem overwhelming, however it is truly just a statement of how you’d like your estate managed once you pass away.  Leaving property and responsibilities to certain family members can be quite important to many people. Creating a will also helps your family to know for certain what your wishes are for your estate. While a will doesn’t have to be complicated, it is important to know estate laws, as anything not listed in your will will be subject to federal, state, and local laws by default.  Using the Following will template will allow you to create a draft will to go over with your attorney to be sure that your estate is properly cared for.

Identification of Family

This section simply identifies spouses and children in order to refer back to these individuals throughout the document without having to refer to them specifically by name.

Payment of Debts and Expenses

This statement describes how your debts and final expenses will be paid. Many simply state that their debts and expenses will be paid by your estate.

Disposition of Property

In this section you are able to bequeath specific items, sums, and other property to specific individuals. It is also important to consider any digital assets in this section.  A letter of instruction can be attached to the end of the will including login and password information for websites and other online accounts to be provided to the digital executor. You can also determine who will receive any property or holdings not accounted for by specific bequests or digital assets.

Pet Care Directives

Many find it important to make sure that their pets are cared for after their passing. Often individuals wish to appoint guardians to their pets and leave a certain amount of money to those who care for their pets after their passing in order to take care of pet expenses.

Nomination of Independent Executor

The Independent Executor of your will is the person who will make certain that the wishes laid out in your will are taken care of.  They will manage the distribution of property and assets as set forth in your will.

Nomination of Digital Executor

The Digital Executor has the same duties as the independent executor, but for digital assets only.

Nomination of Guardian

This clause allows a guardian to be nominated for any minor children who survive you.

Executor Powers

This section lays out what power you wish your executors to have over your estate. If you’re not certain which powers should be given to your executor, it would be a good idea to talk this section over with your attorney. Granting too much or too little power to your executor could cause stress for your family already mourning your loss.

Special Directives

The special directives section of the will is the place where you spell out your last wishes.. If you have special requests for your remains or funeral arrangements, be sure to include that information in this section of your will.

Miscellaneous Provisions

Some miscellaneous provisions you may wish to include in your will are a clause providing for compensation for your executors, a clause describing what should be done about beneficiary disputes, survival requirements, etc.

Signatures/Witnesses

You and multiple witnesses must sign your will in order for it to be legal. Check into notarization requirements for your state and make sure that these requirements are adhered to – otherwise your will is not legally binding.

Name of Each Digital Asset and Digital Executor

This comes after the formal will and describes each digital asset you wish to be taken care of and instructions for what to do with said asset.

Using this template, you’ll be able to outline your estate plan.  Going over this document with an attorney is exceptionally important. Proper estate planning is something that is done for your family – reducing your family’s stress at the end of your life is one of the best comforts you can provide for your family once you’re gone.

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