What Should be Included in Your Will?
If you need to create your first will or are looking to update your existing will, it is crucial to understand what should be included within the contents of the document. With so many items and elements to consider, it can be difficult to know what should be included in your will. As experts in wills, estates, and trust law, the team at Linley Welwood knows how complex wills and estate planning can be. That is why we have compiled a list of crucial elements to include in your will to help you create an effective plan.
4 Crucial Elements to Include in Your Will
The following elements should be included in your will to ensure that your estate is distributed and cared for according to your wishes:
1. Your Executor
One of the first elements of your will should be the name of your executor. Executors are extremely important individuals that are responsible for distributing your estate according to the provisions of your will. This individual should be someone that can handle the responsibilities associated with the role while being a person you trust to accurately enact your wishes. While one executor is often enough, it is often worth naming a backup executor in case your first choice is unable to perform these duties.
2. Assets and Debts
Your will should consider your assets, including your home, investments, vehicles, and smaller possessions such as jewelry, furniture, and other items like family heirlooms. How you own some of these assets, whether solely or jointly, will impact how you should treat them in your estate plan. You will need to create a list of all assets and debts to ensure they are properly handled upon your passing. Debts typically include mortgages, car loans, credit cards, student loans, and personal loans.
This section of a will is often the most highly contested as individuals may disagree with the distribution of certain assets. When designating beneficiaries, it is worth making a list of every individual you want to include in your will first. This will make it easier to determine the items/amount of your estate that each person should receive. It should be noted that recent births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and other life events can drastically influence your beneficiaries, so this section should be reviewed regularly and modified as needed.
4. A Guardian for Your Children
If you have children under the age of 19, your will is the ideal place to name a guardian to care for them. Before naming a guardian, consider their relationship with your children, if they have enough time to care for your children, and if they can take on this responsibility.
To learn more about wills and other areas of estate planning, get in touch with the team at Linley Welwood. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our services or the details of your will.