A will is a term that you’ve probably heard your entire life from family and thrown around in movies, but what exactly does it mean? It’s one of the most common and essential forms for passing on estate. You may one day become the executor of a parent’s will or find yourself creating a personal one. No matter the reason, it’s good to learn and know what a will is, why you need one and what it means once you’ve set one up. Here are the basics of what a will does for you.
A Will Defined
A will is simply a document that states where you want your estate to go once you’ve passed away. It can lay out all of your possessions, including funds, investments and property, and who is meant to have it. It is a legal document that gives you the power to decide where your assets end up after death.
Why You Need a Will
Without a will, the decision about where your assets go depends entirely on state and legal entities. This can cause a lot of hassle and stress with any family and friends left behind, especially if you’d intended some of your estate go to them. Creating a will eliminates this uncertainty and allows you to choose who gets what. It also gives you the ability to name a caretaker for your children should you pass away when they are minors.
What’s in a Will
A will is a pretty straightforward document. It contains the roles of certain individuals and the divvying up of assets. You will name an executor, which is the person you want in charge of the will when you pass. The beneficiaries are those who will receive something from you through the will.
How to Make a Will
To create your own will, make an assessment of all your belongings, holdings, property and other assets. Choose who you want as beneficiaries and who will be the executor. You can be as picky as you’d like in terms of what beneficiary receives what asset. The more detail you put in the will, the less room there will be for disputes between those left behind. Get witnesses (not someone who is receiving something in the will) to sign off on the will.