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The first thing that making a living will requires is the will to draw one up. After all, you hope that your family wouldn’t find use for it for the longest time. Making a will is a stark reminder of one’s mortality. While we are all tempted to procrastinate but creating a new will is not as much of a task it is that people make it out to be.

Here is how to make a valid will in 10 simple steps.

  1. Making a will without attorney

A will without lawyer might sound like a plan if you have a simple will, but it is always better to hire a will solicitor to avoid complications. In fact, the complications that can arise can result in more pain and legal fees to your family that are best avoided. If you want to make a will without lawyer and avoid complication, another option is to draw one up using a legal site. But if you are worth a handsome sum, you should definitely seek the counsel of an estate attorney.

  1. Choose your beneficiaries

Your beneficiaries are the people who are going to inherit your money and possessions. Usually, this should come easy unless you have a complicated family situation. The form will contain a place where you can list your beneficiaries, or your will solicitor will write them out for you. But it is better for you to clear about who gets what.

  1. Choose your will executor

This is the person who will ensure that your wishes are carried out. Choose someone you like and opt for a person who is responsible and trusted. A neutral party, like a bank, who is not part of your family complications is your best bet. Though a family member can play will executor in most cases, your family will have a secure basis if you appoint an attorney or bank to execute your will.

  1. Decide if your will executor will receive monetary compensation

If your will executor is a lawyer or bank, you will need to recompense them with a fee. This is generally between 2-4% of your estate’s assets. The same goes for a friend or family member you have chosen as your executor. It is a good idea to decide if hey wil be compensated for their efforts and how much.

  1. Pick a will guardian for your children

You do not need permission from your friend or family member when appointing them the guardian of your kids. But it is preferable that you ask, because they are also not bound to accept the responsibility when the time comes. If your designated guardian turns down the role, the court will appoint a suitable guardian for your children.

  1. Be specific about who gets what

If you want your vintage tea cup collection to go to your daughter or that antique mirror to go to your son, jot that down.

If there is someone who is left noting, that too should be specified in your will. Otherwise, it would imply that you forgot them and they could challenge your will in court. If there is a specific reason they are not inheriting anything, you can write that down to explain your logic and alleviate hard feelings.

  1. If there’s more than just parting with your possessions, attach a letter

In the movies, we always see a will being read out with the family being audience listens to who will receive what. But real life differs from reel life as wills are legal documents and are impersonal. However, if you wish to add a softer, sentimental side to your will, attach a letter. For example, you may write a personalized letter to the guardian of your children, expressing your hopes and dreams in how you want them raised.

  1. Others will need to sign your will

Once a will has been drafted, it needs to be signed by two or three witnesses (depending on your state). Check the laws in your state, as some states don’t allow beneficiaries to be witnesses. Your witnesses should be adults, and ideally people who are likely to outlive you. This is so if your will is ever contested I court, your witness will be able to testify.

  1. Keep it in a safe place

Though you should keep your will in a secure spot for safekeeping, ensure that a trusted person will find your will. Also keep your important legal documents like bank details, etc. in the same place. A fireproof safe is the best way to preserve your will.

  1. This is the last step, and not

You should also work on a power of attorney and a living will in case you are ever incapacitated. Update your will every four or five years if required.

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