Every now and then there are moments in our lives which makes us think about the inevitable- death. It can be a joyous moment like marriage, an illness or even a painful divorce. Questions like ‘who will look after my kids if something happens to me’ ‘where will all my savings go after am gone?’ or ‘What will happen to my belongings?’ Writing a will is probably the most suitable solution to such thought provoking questions.
Following are some basic steps about writing a will
1. The foremost step of writing a will is to first clearly mention your full name and existing home address. If there are chances that you might move to some other place then also mention your date of birth and your social security number.
2. It is IMPERITIVE that you mention that you are of sound mental health, and are completely aware of your actions. Mentioning this is very important because there are chances that distant relative or a business associate might try to misinterpret your will.
3. Make a clear cut statement that you are rescinding any other pre-existing wills incase of fraudulent representation.
4. Higher a Personal Representative or an executor. This is the person who will carry out all your instruction, and take care of your belonging after your death. The rules regarding an executor vary according to the state, but the basic rule implies to all. The executor should be 18+, should be honest and practical.
5. Mention the dividing percentage of your assets to the respective people. While writing a will enlist all those people along with the percentages. Make sure that the percentages are a total of 100%.
Mention the beneficiary gift in the provisions i.e. who will get the beneficiary’s gift if that person passes away before your demise e.g. Mr. XYZ gets 6% if he survives me otherwise the 6% will pass on to Mr. ABC.
6. Write a residuary clause for residuary beneficiaries. It includes all your assets which were not disposed off in spite of 100% division of everything. You can write: ‘in case any other assets remaining in my estate but not limited to real property, personal property, cause of action or any other assets, of whatsoever nature, I give, bequeath and devise such residue to _______’ there is no expiry date for the residuary gift, or it can divided per stripes i.e. the gift will be transferred to the bloodline of the departed beneficiary.
7. Always mention a second option for an executor. This is necessary as the first choice passes away, is unable to perform the job or is unwilling to do so.
8. Make sure that you give your accurate signatures. The accuracy of your signatures ensures the validity of your will. However it is advisable that three witnesses and the notary public should be present while signing the will. The witnesses and notary public should not be your relatives or people who are part of your will. Your signatures should be at the end, at the right side, after the last word.