A Legal Will is a vital document for any individual. Here are 5 key things to know about making a Will:
1. You need to appoint someone as your Executor
An executor is the person who will carry out the terms of your Will. An executor is someone who you trust. In many cases, people appoint the beneficiaries of their estate as their executor. For example, a spouse, adult child or family member. It also makes sense to have a back up person as an alternate executor if possible in case the first executor cannot or will not carry out the duties.
2. You can change your Will at anytime
Many people put off making a Will because they think that they have to get everything perfect and that things can never change. On the contrary, a Will is a document that can be changed at anytime (even the second after signing it). Wills will frequently mention that they revoke former Wills. In addition, the latest Will is the one that would be valid based upon the date of the Will. So, there is no reason to put off making a Will. It is a good idea to put one together and then if it needs to be changed in the future, you can always change it. A far better and safer option than not having a Will at all.
3. You can appoint a Guardian for your kids in a Will
A Will allows you to appoint someone you trust to look after your children. This is one of the most important aspects of a Will because you are planning out your wishes on who you would like to take care of your kids in the event you are not around. You can also appoint alternate guardians as well.
4. Wills do not have to be notarized or prepared by a lawyer
Wills do not have to be written by a lawyer or signed in front of a lawyer or notary. On the contrary, Wills have been prepared for centuries based on some consistent characteristics that need to be included in a Will. A Will made by yourself and witnessed properly is a legally binding Will. If you have an overly complicated situation, you can always go to a lawyer but it is not required.
5. You should review your Will regularly
Many people make their Will and then forget to think about updating it as their life circumstances change. Some of the factors that require a review of one’s Will may include:
- An executor or beneficiary has died
- A birth of a child
- A change in personal relationships
- A change in one’s assets
Everyone should review their Will at least annually to make sure it is still consistent with their wishes.