How to write a will

A last will and testament may not be a glamorous thought for most, but it is most certainly an essential task and not near as difficult as you may think. A will is a document which outlines exactly how you want your money, family, assets, and funeral arrangements taken care of upon your death. Since death is a part of life, there should be no question that everyone will eventually need a will.

To write a will is to protect your lifeís work and simplify things for those left behind. It is estimated that over 60% of people die without a legal will. If you are young and raising a family, you understandably donít want to think of a premature death but itís this precise circumstance that may be one of the most important reasons to have a will. Without a will that specifically designates guardianship of minor children, the state will appoint a legal guardian for your children.

Further, any financial and material assets you possess upon death will also be dispersed as the state sees fit if you do not have a will. Lastly, the arrangements concerning your funeral and burial may not be carried out the way you would like without a will. Obviously it makes practical sense to take care of this legal document as soon as possible.

There are two ways to write a will. The first is to write it yourself, have it signed in your presence by two witnesses and a notary. When witnessed and notarized, it is a legal document in most jurisdictions. However, this is not the recommended way to handle the affair unless you have virtually no assets and you are certain that other final arrangements are quite simple. In the case of complicated situations, especially where children and appointing guardianship may become complicated, or where you are leaving behind large sums of money, a business, etc. it is best to consult an attorney, or other financial professional.

Before you draft a will, you will need to choose an executor and it may be best to choose two. One can obviously be your spouse, or other close family member and the other should be your attorney, insurance agent, or financial planner. You will need to secure two witnesses as well and they should not be a beneficiary, spouse, or child. In the event you have children you will need to be prepared to name two guardians.

It is important to understand the necessity for such a document before you write one, but also understand that it can be changed. You may also wish to draft a living will in the event that you become physically or mentally incapable of making medical decisions for yourself. Essentially, having these legal documents in place can save a great deal of heartache for your loved ones, especially at a time when heartache is already at a maximum.