Whether you are planning a family or planning retirement, you may want to consider drafting a last will and testament. This legally binding document protects your property, assets and loved ones should you become the victim of a tragic accident and lose your life or the ability to make critical decisions regarding your health and well-being.
Before you sit down to create a will, however, there are some factors to consider. These points are extremely important, as they will dictate what happens with your property and possessions once you pass on.
Choose a representative
One of the most important aspects of designing a will is choosing an executor to the estate. This person is responsible for ensuring the terms of the will are carried out according to your wishes.
It is important to make sure you select someone who is trustworthy and responsible and who has the time available to see your will through the estate administration process. You may want to speak to the person you choose to be the executor of the estate beforehand to ensure he or she agrees to the responsibility.
Appoint a guardian
If you have small children, you want to think of who to appoint as a guardian to your young ones should something happen to you. This is also true if you have a disabled adult or elderly loved one who you care for.
Distribute your property
Finally, make a list of your possessions, such as the following:
- Family home
- Antiques, art and other collections
- Term life insurance policies, 401k policies, retirement plans and stocks
Determine which beneficiaries you wish to receive your property and assets, and be specific. This may help to avoid any disputes over your property later on.
Keep in mind that once you create your last will and testament, the terms included are not set in stone. You can always go back and revise the will at any time.