Four basic steps in creating a will
To most people, estate planning may seem like an insurmountable task given the assets and property they have accumulated over the years. For others, they may feel as if they don’t need an estate plan because they hardly have any assets. However, for people of any age, there is a benefit to at least drafting a simple will. It can set basic expectations for the care of children or other people’s assets that you may be responsible for managing.
This post will highlight a few basic considerations when writing a will.
Nominate an executor – The executor will essentially be the point person for administering your estate. He or she will be responsible for paying outstanding debts, transferring property to appropriate entities and persons and locating assets that are to be distributed. Depending on who you nominate as an executor, it may be a good idea to add a second executor who can serve in their stead.
Name guardians – For those who have minor children, it is essential to name a person (or people) who can look after them and manage their finances until they reach the age of majority (age 18). Again, naming more than one guardian is prudent because one person may be comfortable (and ready) to take on the job of raising a child, while another person is adept at financial management.
Decide who gets what – Determining who will inherit particular assets may be difficult, but it is a necessary step in developing your will. It does not have to be an exhaustive list of items. After all, you may not remember all the assets that you have, and compiling such a list would be nearly impossible.
Consider an appendix – Your executor (or whoever is appointed to administer the estate) should have a working idea of where things may be located.