A will is an essential document as it outlines your possessions and stipulates how these will be transferred to your beneficiaries after your demise. Many families have protracted battles in court because they’d all like to have a share of their deceased loved one’s assets. Thus, writing your own will as early as possible helps prevent conflicts that may arise in the future. You don’t have to wait until you’re older or get exceptionally wealthy to write a will.
Fortunately, you can draft a will online if you don’t want to go to the attorney’s office. Online wills are simple to create and more affordable, provided you’ll use a reliable website to ensure your will is legitimate. Below are steps to create a legal and valid online will:
- Create A List Of Your Properties
You may have numerous assets, and there is a tendency for you to forget some of them as you draft your will. Thus, take your time to make a comprehensive list of all your valuable possessions. You can look into your bank accounts, assets, homes, vehicles, or any commercial property you own. No possession is minor, so include all of them in your list. You can even add your jewelry or furniture to the list.
Also, note down the properties you bought jointly with a friend or partner and make sure you only allocate your portion of the property. Otherwise, it may create future conflicts. But remember that once you have any money to offset, your assets will be used to pay them off first.
- Select Your Beneficiaries
It’s best to list all the beneficiaries you’d like to inherit your assets upon your demise. It can be your partner, children, mate, siblings, relatives, or a charitable organization. As a rule, you can’t list your executor as a beneficiary or the beneficiaries of your life insurance because they already have a share of your assets.
When you note the down names in your will, use your beneficiaries’ official names and give information on where they live. Such clarity helps prevent future conflicts.
- Search For A Suitable Site For An Online Template
First, you need to find an online template to create your will. A template simplifies your work because you don’t have to craft everything from scratch. You can simply fill in details in the appropriate fields, and it will automatically save all data you input, allowing you to revise the entries later.
Therefore, take time to find the right site with suitable templates that reflect your need. Choose high-tech sites created by lawyers, certified by the courts, and safe for storing the information on your will. Working with a website that complies with state regulations is also important.
- Specify Wishes For Guardianship
If you have young kids, it is best to indicate in your will the person you’d like to be their guardian and trustee. You can also specify the age at which they’ll be allowed to take charge of their inheritance. The same rule also applies to your pets if you have any. Choose someone you trust and note them down in your will.
- Pick Your Executor
You’ll need someone to ensure your will is executed as you specified. Thus, you’ll have to note down an executor in your will. They’ll organize your property, settle your bills, and register your last taxes. It’s up to you to find a suitable person you feel will do the right thing to ensure your will is executed correctly.
It can be an estate planning lawyer or a family member. However, speak to them earlier before you choose them as your executor because it will be a huge responsibility for them.
- Put Your Signature On The Will
After finalizing every detail of the will online, you and the witnesses must sign it to make it official. A signature confirms approval of the information provided in the will. Print the will out so you can all append your signatures, or you can make a virtual signature so you can add your signature before printing the will. If required by your state laws, you must provide a “self-proving affidavit,” which is to be signed by the witnesses and should be notarized by a legal professional.
Once the will is signed and declared, store it in a safe place—perhaps in your safety deposit box—and your executor will be the only one to access it whenever the right time comes.
In addition, also ensure that your Will fall under the Irrevocable trust amendment. This will ensure that your will is not changed after your death.
- Update Your Will Whenever Necessary
Years later, if you’ve got a new family member and want to add them to the will, you may need to update your will. You also need to review and amend your will if you feel like the person you named as your beneficiary doesn’t deserve it any longer and opt to remove them from the list of beneficiaries. However, you must update your will with the presence of all your witnesses so they can sign it without delay. It’s advisable to make changes in your will after about every five years.
Remember, death is unpredictable, and it often comes unexpectedly. So, you can never be too young to create a will. Otherwise, your family may get into an extensive court battle as each member claims what they feel belongs to them. Avoid these issues by creating and validating your will, which can be made easy through online forms and templates. An advantage is that you can do it at any time in an affordable and quick process.