Where There's a Will: Five Smart Steps to Creating Your Will


From determining the type and nature of after-death preparations you’ll receive, to detailing the way in which your assets will be disbursed, a will is one of the most important documents that you will ever create. Although this might seem like a morbid affair, it is essential. Fortunately, with the following steps creating your final will and testament can be a very straightforward and simple process.

Start with Basic Information

While a will is a legal document that must follow proper procedure, you only need simple, basic information to get started. If you intend to draft this document on your own, start by writing down your name, your address and the date on which you are recording your will. State that this is your last will and testament, which means that it is intended to replace any will that you have drafted in the past.

Identify Your Executor

The executor will be in charge of administering your estate. This can be a considerable task, especially if you have a number of assets and beneficiaries. It is best to make sure that the person you name as executor is comfortable with the job. It is also a good idea to have a back-up executor listed, in case the initial party predeceases you. Empower your executor by giving written permission for him or her to administer your estate. This will eliminate the need for the executor to get permission from the court.

After-Death Preparations

If you have preferences concerning how your body will be handled after your death, this is where you should spell them out. This can make life easier for family members who may not be in agreement on burial sites and burial methods. If cremation services or a burial plot have been secured in advance, list this information here.

Address Debts

State in your will that you would like the executor to take care of all of your remaining debts. These can include medical bills, mortgage payments, after-death expenses and any remaining tax payments. Your remaining assets can then be disbursed to your beneficiaries.

State How You Want Your Assets to Be Disbursed

List all of the individuals and charitable organizations that you wish to bequeath your assets to. You should include all savings, investments, real property and personal property. This may take time, but it is well worth the effort as it will ensure that each of your loved ones are properly accounted for, and that all of your assets have been considered. For high-value assets, make sure to list both primary and secondary beneficiaries.
After having completed the first draft of your will, have this document looked over by a trusted lawyer. This professionals can determine whether anything important has been left out and if the language that is used in the will is sufficiently clear for avoiding confusion. Once this document has been approved, sign your final will and testament in the presence of two neutral witnesses and have these witnesses sign your will as well to show that you have read your will and understand it. The information for this article was provided by the lawyers in Cobourg at Kitchen Simeson Belliveau LLP, who provide Power of Attorney to those creating a will.


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