Preparing a will is the first and most important step in estate planning, allowing you to decide how your property should be distributed after you’re gone. While these documents may seem relatively straightforward, vague instructions and poor wording can leave your estate plan open to legal challenges, causing significant issues for your heirs and the legacy you leave behind. Taking steps to prepare before writing a will helps ensure nothing is left out, and your final wishes are respected.
A Guide to Writing a Will
1. Decide on Seeking Help
While there are software companies that can help with estate planning, producing a full-proof will often requires an attorney. In particular, those with complex investments, significant assets, or many beneficiaries should consult a lawyer. An estate planning professional will have the experience to guide you through the decision-making process, identify any potential issues, and draft a will that provides peace of mind.
2. Choose the Beneficiaries
A will should be as detailed as possible, especially if you have specific assets or items of sentimental value you would like to leave to certain friends or family members. Before starting on your will, make a list of your beneficiaries, along with what they should receive. If you have belongings you haven’t made up your mind about yet, include them on a separate list.
3. Select an Executor
The executor of your estate is the individual responsible for guiding your estate through the probate process and executing the instructions in your will. As part of their duties, the executor will also close all of your financial accounts and ensure all of your remaining debts are paid, so choose someone you trust.
With over 40 years of experience providing estate planning services to families throughout New London County, Connecticut, Stuart R. Norman Jr. offers in-depth legal advice. Whether you have a complex estate or relatively simple assets, the firm will give your will the attention these serious matters deserve. Visit their website for more on their estate planning services, or call (860) 376-0069 to make an appointment today.