When Pre-Planning Your Funeral, Don’t Forget About Your Last Will and Testament

Pre-planning is always a great idea as it allows you to plan for the future. It can be difficult to plan for a time when you might not be around, however your loved ones will be grateful as they will not have the burden to make difficult decisions on your behalf. When planning for your funeral, many considerations need to take place such as caskets, cremations and burial plots. While these decisions are important, many people forget about another crucial component; a Last Will and Testament.

Having a Last Will and Testament is important to have as it allows you to pass on your assets or special gifts to your loved ones. Without one, the government may have the power to decide how to distribute your assets and estate. In some states, the government may evenly divide your estate to your family, which can leave a spouse facing financial uncertainty. Even with these dire consequences over 50% of Americans still do not have their Last Will and Testament in order. Creating a Last Will and Testament may seem like a daunting task, but being aware of key components in the document is a great way to get you started! Below is a list of things to consider when creating your will.

1. Appoint an Executor

An Executor is a person who you choose to administer your estate once you have passed. They will file your will at the probate court, pay off any debts, hand out the remaining assets to your loved ones and carry out any wishes that are listed in your will. It is important that you choose someone that you trust and will not mishandle your estate and finances. Inform your Executor that you have selected them and ensure you go over your will so they are aware of your wishes.

2. Choose a Guardian

If you have minors or dependent children, it is important to select a Guardian that will take responsibility and act in the best interest of the child. If no Guardian is selected, anyone can ask to be your child’s Guardian and the government will have the power to select one for you. If you need to change your Guardian after your will has been created you can use a Codicil which will easily make the change.

3. Select Your Beneficiaries

Individuals that you give a gift or share of your estate are called Beneficiaries. In your will list out specific gifts you would like to give to your Beneficiaries such as a family heirloom. Once you have listed all specific gifts that you would like to give, decide who will receive the residue of your estate. The residue of your estate is what is left over after taxes, debts, and funeral expenses have been paid off. A beneficiary can be given a specific gift as well as a piece of the residue of your estate.

4. Storing

Once you have created and signed your will, it is important to keep it in a safe spot like a fire proof cabinet. Let your Executor know where you are placing your will so they are able to easily access it when needed.

Now that you are aware of the information that is needed to create a Last Will and Testament it is time to get started! One great resource is LawDepot, the leading publisher of do-it-yourself legal documents. LawDepot walks you through each step in creating your own legal document and each contract is created by their large team of lawyers. Currently, they are offering a 1 week free trial to new customers. Visit LawDepot to get started today!