You’re never really too young to start thinking about preparing your will, a third of people never get round to making one at all. It may sound like a grim prospect, but failing to make plans on how you want your worldy possessions to be distributed after you die can leave a lot of problems and hardships for your friends and family to sort through.
Don’t leave it to chance. If you’re writing your will for the first time or updating it, consider the ways to protect your assets, many of us don’t get around to making arrangements for the future. But we should.
Here are some top tips on how to craft the perfect will from start to finish.
Decide who will draw up your will
You can make your will using a DIY kit, but the process can be challenging if you are inexperienced in this area. Lawyers can be an expensive options as well, but there are other options. Many future life planning services offer will writing services online. Professional will writers are a cost effective way to get the right will.
Choose your executors
An executor is responsible for exercising your estate in accordance with your instructions after you have died. It can be a demanding role, so be sure to choose someone who is confident and perhaps has experience in dealing with large sums of money.
If you are the last living parent and you die leaving children under age 18, a guardian will be appointed by the court if you have not specified who this should be in your will. If you are unmarried but you and your partner have children, you might not receive guardianship of your children. Appoint guardians in your will to overcome these and other problems related to your children.
Make specific legacies
If you want to make sure that any family heirlooms or items of special sentimental value are taken care of, you should leave these items as a specific legacy to a named beneficiary.
Save on tax with a trust
Inheritance tax is becoming a burden to many families, particularly when the value of an estate is above the nil rate band for inheritance tax. If you are married, you can include a discretionary trust in your will, this could save your children a great deal of money in inheritance tax at current rates.
Don’t forget to sign it!
Once your will has been drafted, make sure it is signed in front of two witnesses. Failure to do so will mean that it isn’t valid. Witnesses cannot be anyone mentioned in the will or anyone married to anyone mentioned in the will.
Keep it safe
After the will has been correctly signed and witnessed, make sure it is kept in a safe place. Somewhere that will keep it protected from fire, flood, damage, or loss. The executors of your will will be provided with a certificate showing them where your will is stored and how to get hold of it if you die.