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How to Write a Will: A Basic Guide

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Only 33% of Americans have a will or living trust, even though more than 50% believe estate planning to be at least somewhat significant.

When it comes to estate planning, many think the only option is a complicated trust document. That’s far from true! A will is the most straightforward tool available to any American citizen to guide their surviving family members.

Are you ready to avoid the potential mess that happens when there is no will? Please keep reading for our guide on how to write a will.

Organize Your Assets

When writing a will, you need to understand your assets. You will need to know what you own and what debts and liabilities you have. You will also need to see your help’s value and how it is titled.

This will help you determine who gets what. You will also need to consider any notable legacies you want to make, such as to a charity. Once you have this information, you can start writing your will.

Name the Beneficiaries

When you write your will, you’ll need to name beneficiaries. A beneficiary will inherit money or property from you when you die. You can call anyone you want as a beneficiary, including family members, friends, charities, or even your pet.

You’ll need to be very specific when you name beneficiaries. Include their full name and address. If you’re leaving money to more than one person, you’ll need to specify how much each person will get. You can also specify conditions for receiving the inheritance, such as finishing college.

If you have a spouse, you’ll need to decide if you want them to inherit everything or just a portion of your estate. You may also want to leave money to children from a previous relationship. If you have a partner of the same gender, it is important to consider LGBTQ estate planning.

Sign Your Will in Front of Witnesses

Most people understand the need for a will, but fewer know the proper protocol for signing one. It’s important to sign your choice in front of witnesses—preferably two—who can attest to your identity and that you were of sound mind when you signed the document.

Once your will is signed and witnessed, give copies to your named executor and beneficiaries, and keep the original in a safe place. The witnesses must be disinterested parties, meaning they cannot stand to gain anything from your will. It would help if you also had your will notarized by a licensed notary public, though this isn’t always required.

Understanding How To Write a Will

A will is an essential tool that allows you to control what happens to your property and assets after you die. While it is not required by law, it is strongly recommended, especially if you have any significant assets or debts. This guide on how to write a will provides a basic overview of what you need to remember.

If you found our article helpful and want to learn more estate planning tips, check out the rest of our blog today.

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