4 Will Preparation Tips

Posted on: 15 March 2021


Writing a will can be quite challenging. More often than not, testators do not know where to start or what to include in their wills. Below is an extract discussing some will preparation tips that you should consider. 

Appraise Your Estate

You will need to appraise your estate to determine the value of your assets. As you appraise your estate, it would be in your best interests to settle any debts that might befall your beneficiaries once you pass away. Besides, you could dispose of depreciating assets and put the money in a savings or fixed deposit account. It is a sure way to ensure your beneficiaries do not inherit assets with little or no value. 

Determine the Beneficiaries

The advantage of a will it allows you to bequeath both friends and family. It is unlike an interstate death (dying without a will) where the court divides your assets among your family members and dependents. When bequeathing your wealth, do not forget family heirlooms and sentimental items such as your jewellery, paintings, clothing, and books. It is a sure way to ensure the beneficiaries have a lasting memory of you. 

Choosing an Executor

The executor is an individual that handles the probate process. Typically, he or she files for a grant of probate at the Supreme Court. The letter gives him or her the authority to pay your debts, taxes and divide property according to the terms of the will. Your executor should be a trustworthy individual with a good understanding of your estate. Preferably, your will should have two executors. The second executor takes charge if your executor relinquishes his or her duties. 

Work With a Wills and Estates Attorney 

A wills and estates attorney will help you prepare your will. One of the lawyer's primary responsibilities is ensuring that your will meets the legal standards of your state. The lawyer should help you mitigate unforeseeable events such as wills disputes. For instance, you could include a no-dispute clause when writing the will. At your request, the lawyer will store your will and produce it once you die. The lawyer will also help out with the legal aspects of the probate process. For instance, he or she can guide the executor when transferring assets to your beneficiaries. Besides, the lawyer can advise beneficiaries that would want to contest your will. 

When preparing your will, appraise your estate, determine the beneficiaries, choose an executor and work with a will preparation lawyer.