Are you afraid of where all your stuff will go when you are gone?
No one wants to think about writing a will, but it is something that you have to come to terms with as you age. It is best to get it out of the way so you can move on and focus on living your best life.
If you do not know what to include in your will, we are here to help. It can get a little overwhelming deciding what to leave to whom when you die, but it is better to make this decision yourself than to leave it to your family to argue over when you are gone.
Here are the seven things you absolutely need to include in your will.
Name an Executor
You should always name an executor to enact the things that you have written out in your will. This person will take the necessary measures to inform your beneficiaries of what you have left to them and see that they get it without any trouble.
It is good practice to name a backup executor, in the event of your primary executor being unable to complete the task for some reason.
Name Beneficiaries to Your Property
Your “property” is anything that falls under personal property, real estate, or cash.
Depending on what your relations and business dealings are, you would typically leave a certain percentage of these things to different family members, friends, business partners, or organizations. These are your beneficiaries.
If you are feeling particularly generous, you can name a charitable organization as one of your beneficiaries as well.
Name Alternate Beneficiaries
Another good thing to do is to name alternate beneficiaries in the event of the death of your primary beneficiary.
For example, you name your friend as one of your beneficiaries. If they die before you, then whoever they have designated as their beneficiary will inherit what you left your friend. To avoid this, you need to name an alternate beneficiary.
Directions on How to Divide Your Assets
Your will should thoroughly describe how your assets are to be divided. If you are leaving property to one of your children, it should note which piece of property they are receiving.
You can also specify whether an asset is to be given to an individual or sold for cash value and provided to one or multiple individuals.
Directions on Business Asset Allocation
If you have any business assets, treat these separately from your personal assets. Business assets might include cash in a business account, stocks that help fund your business, and any property that was purchased for business use.
If you decide not to name a business partner beneficiary to these things, make sure that you clarify very specifically who these things are to go to to avoid any arguments.
Debts, Expenses, Taxes
Describe specifically how your debts and taxes are to be paid, in addition to your funeral expenses. If you intend for these to be paid from a specific source, like a bank account, then write that in the will to avoid any confusion over how these things should be settled.
Name a Guardian In Your Will
Most importantly, if you are a parent to a young child or children, you must name a guardian. Naming a guardian can be tricky if you are in a complicated parental situation, but you still need to nominate someone to take after your young kids in the event of your death.
Ideally, this will be your partner, but could also be a close relative or friend that your child is familiar with.
Do Not Wait Too Long
There is no reason to wait to write your will. The sooner that you get it done, the sooner you can move on with your life. It allows you to protect yourself, your spouse, your kids, and help out your friends and business partners in the event of your death.
If you do not do it, chaos will ensue.
For any legal queries relating to your last will and testament, contact Indigo Family Law, South Carolina’s personal family lawyers.