Crucial Elements To Include In Your Last Will And Testament

A will is an essential legal document that reveals your wishes regarding how you would like your property distributed upon death. Typically, a will or testament is critical to avoid fights and battles within families over assets. While drafting a will might seem easy, it can be daunting due to law requirements. Thankfully, you can work with a probate lawyer to include the right components on the document as follows.

Personal Data

It is imperative to indicate personal information for easy identification. In addition to that, include the names of your family members and spouse. If you have other names that you go by, add that to your data. Crucial information to include is as follows:

  • Full names
  • Address
  • Date of birth

Testamentary Intent

A valid will requires a testamentary intent. Basically, it shows that you have the intention of leaving your property to specific people. You do not have to struggle to create a will on your own; instead, a probate law attorney can help you jot down the right words. 

What's more, the expert can review the document if you decide to write it by yourself. Correct wordings eliminate the chances of will contests. Ensure that you sign the document to make it credible. 

Wealth and Beneficiaries

Your will should contain certain assets that you can leave behind for your kin and spouse. Here are some properties that you can include in your last will:

  • Jewelry
  • Vehicles
  • Real estate property
  • Money
  • Family businesses

However, some things are generally not included in a will, such as:

  • Life insurance proceeds
  • Property with right of survivorship
  • Property in a living trust
  • Benefits from pensions, retirement plans, IRA, and 401k.
  • Transfer-on-death assets like bonds, stocks, vehicles, and real estate
  • Pay-on-death bank account

Typically, the above assets get transferred automatically to a beneficiary when you die. Thus, you do not need to outline them in your will.

Executor and Guardian

An executor will be in charge of distributing property when you pass on. What's more, the representative will help you file taxes and settle pending debts if you have any. You can choose a family member or a probate lawyer to be an executor.

On the flip side, you will need a guardian if you have minors. A guardian will take excellent care of your children when you and your spouse die. You can also assign a guardian for your senior parents or adult children with disabilities.