It is certain that the future will come; what is uncertain, however, is what happens in the future. It is always best for anyone to aptly prepare for what can happen along the way, and one excellent means of doing this is to make a will. A will is a document that contains the disposition of your assets when the time of your death arrives. Here are some points that you have to remember to include in your will:
- The name of your executor
Before you proceed with listing all the properties and assets that are up for disposition upon your death, remember to start by naming your executor. Your executor is your trusted person designated with the responsibility of ensuring that your will is carried out precisely in the manner it should be. This executor is different from your lawyer, as both of them will work hand-in-hand regarding this matter. The executor also goes by any of the following names:
An important tip for you to remember is to name at least two executors, in case your first choice will be unable to carry out your will. To learn more about wills and its proper execution, visit the page of will expert Brian Douglas, and ask for an appointment.
- The disposition of your life insurance
When you purchase your first life insurance premium, your beneficiaries will be aptly listed and designated on your forms and insurance policy. But it will still be very prudent of you to indicate the same in your will. Doing so does not result in redundancy, but will only ensure that even your life insurance is disposed of in accordance with who the proper beneficiaries are. Life insurance is one of the biggest concerns of family feuds as relatives have the tendency to fight over the assets of a deceased family member.
- The disposition of specific properties
Supposing you are a rich person who has accumulated various properties over your lifetime. If this is the case, it is best that you also indicate who gets this property, and who gets that. Be specific about it, so that in your absence, the family members left behind already know what belongs to them and what doesn’t. In this manner, too, you can avoid the scenario of children fighting over specific property.
Beneficiaries of any of your specific properties include:
- Children, including legitimate, adopted, and recognized illegitimate
- Other family members and relatives, such as parents and siblings
- Business organizations
As you specify these beneficiaries, it is also to your advantage if you name and define the alternate beneficiaries of each property, should the first beneficiary be deceased before you, and you did not have the time as well to change your will before your death.
- The custody or guardianship of your child, should you be unmarried
The Family Court carries out their legal procedures in place if you die leaving minor children behind, and you are without a spouse, or if your spouse is unable to be responsible for the children. But it is vital that you also name and identify this in your will. Often, when there are custody battles in court because of the death of the parent, the process can be simplified and will be less complicated if the legal parent has also named their chosen custodian for their children. In most cases, the court takes great consideration over the will of the deceased, as this matter takes precedence, being that it is their sole personal choice.
Custodians of your children can be:
- Your parents, or your children’s grandparents
- Any of your siblings who are able
- Any relative whom you have full trust and confidence in
- A trusted friend, who may perhaps also be the godparents, in the absence of family or relatives
- The designated guardian or manager of your children’s assets
If you have minor children who are to receive any of your assets, it is crucial for you to remember as well to designate the person or individuals who hold these in trust on their behalf until they reach the age of majority. Until your children are eighteen years old, they are in no capacity to own or manage any of these assets; hence, it is vital that you specifically name whom you trust to take care of these.
Doing this procedure as mentioned above is crucial, so that no one ever takes advantage of the innocence of your children, especially if you leave high-valued assets to them, upon your death.
- The list of your assets
It is often the scenario that when a person dies, the family members are not even aware of all the assets of the deceased. There is no problem regarding liabilities, as creditors will automatically approach any of the living family members, to ensure that payment will still be made. However, regarding assets, you may not be aware of everything that your family member may own. Assets can include:
- Money in various bank accounts
- Investments in stock markets, funds, and companies
- Real property
- Vehicles, jewelry, and the like
The process of making your will, or estate planning, can be a tedious and scary process, for some. However, it can be made easy through the help of your trusted lawyer, and with this list of points, you have to remember. As daunting as the task of estate planning might be, the benefits are great, so that upon your death, all your assets will adequately be disposed of according to your liking.