Steps to Take When Writing a Will
A last will and testament is critical to ensure that after you pass away, your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Estate planning allows you to name the guardian of your children, reduce taxes for your heirs, and reduce the chance of family conflict over your assets. Here are the basic steps to take when writing a will.
Identify Your Beneficiaries
In your will, identify your beneficiaries by name. Typically, your spouse and children are the primary beneficiaries, but you may name any person or organization you wish. In most states, spouses have the legal right to inherit an estate. If you wish to disinherit your spouse, speak with an attorney.
Select an Executor
The executor will carry out your wishes in accordance with your last will and testament. Choose a responsible person that you trust, and be sure to obtain their consent beforehand. The court will appoint an executor if you do not name one in your will.
Name a Guardian for Your Children
If you have children who are under 18, designate a guardian for them. Make sure to discuss guardianship with the person beforehand. If you do not name a guardian for your children, the court may appoint one for you.
List Your Assets
List all of your assets in your will, including bank accounts, real estate, retirement accounts, and tangible assets. Be clear and explicit about who is to receive what.
Sign the Will
To finalize your will, Tennessee law requires you to sign your will in front of two witnesses, and “your witnesses must sign your will in front of you and each other.”
While it’s possible to write a will yourself, enlisting the help of an attorney can help your loved ones avoid potential problems in the future. An attorney will ensure your will meets your state’s requirements and that your intentions are stated clearly. For assistance with writing your will, contact the Slaughter Law Firm today.