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A will is a legal document that specifies what you want to happen to your property when you die. To put it simply: Yes, you need a will.


Even if you believe you don’t have many assets or that your estate will go where you desire after your death due to your state’s intestacy laws (which take effect when someone dies without a will), writing a will may ensure that your specific preferences are honoured after your death.

You’ll also be doing your loved ones a favour by not leaving them guessing what you could have desired.

As the testator, you will designate an executor to be in charge of dispersing your estate according to your instructions in your will. You may also appoint a guardian for underage children or other dependents. Without any of these provisions in a will, a court will determine who manages your assets and, more importantly, who cares for your children.

If you have cherished pets, your will is a great location to provision for their care after your death.

A will does not take effect until you die, but it becomes public record after that when it goes through probate, the court-supervised process of closing up a dead person’s estate.

  1. Compile Your Information
Consider the following as you prepare to write your own will:

Executor. The executor is the person you want in charge of dispersing your estate; of course, the executor should be someone you trust.

Assets. All real property (land and buildings) and personal goods (vehicles, bank accounts, family heirlooms, etc.)

Taxes and debts Any sums that your estate may be required to pay

Beneficiaries. The persons you wish to inherit your assets, together with their complete names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers

Guardian. This is the person you designate to care for your children and their possessions in the event that both parents die, as well as an alternate option if that person is unable to do so.

Animal care. Who you want to care for your pet, as well as any finances you wish to put aside for their care

  1. Make a Will

You may be thinking whether you need a lawyer to prepare a will at this stage.

No, you don’t, and in fact, online wills have grown in popularity in recent years. Online wills are often fast and simple to write, and they are also legally acceptable as long as they are carried out in accordance with your state’s laws.

Other alternatives for creating your own will include employing will software-generated templates or fill-in-the-blank forms.

You will be well prepared regardless of the strategy you pick since you have already explored many of the concerns you will need to address when obtaining information in Step 1.

  1. Confirm that the will is legal.

Because wills laws differ from state to state, it is critical that you understand what your state needs in order for a will to be legitimate. If you use Generis Global’s Last Will and Testament, you can be certain that all last wills and testaments have been crafted to fit the individual laws and standards of each U.S. state.

To execute a legal will in most states, you must be of sound mind and above the age of 18; sign the will; and, in many cases, have witnesses sign it as well. These witnesses must also supply their complete names and addresses in case they need to be contacted about the will in the future.

  1. Make a copy of your will and keep it somewhere safe.

Once you’ve written and executed your will, create a copy and keep both the original and copy in a secure location, such as a fireproof lockbox or file cabinet. You should also inform your loved ones about the location of the papers and how to locate them after your death to make probating the will simpler.

  1. Keep Your Will Current

Remember that your will may be modified and updated at any moment, so you should examine it at least once a year to ensure that it still represents your desires. Any time your family status changes, such as a divorce or the birth of a grandchild, is an excellent moment to revisit your will.