If you’ve made the decision to get off the fence and get down to making a Will: congratulations. You’ve taken a very difficult step that many people never make. Now that you’ve decided, you may be overwhelmed by the choices you have and the process before you. Relax. It’s not difficult to create a Will if you tackle the process in pieces and just do one thing at a time. Here’s how to start.
Step 1: Make a list of your property
A Will won’t be the only estate planning tool you use, but it is a key part of your plan. To get started, you’ll first want to identify everything you have. Start by listing all your assets, such as your home, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, investments, as well as personal possessions. You don’t have to go into too much detail when you’re listing personal property, but make sure to list anything of a substantial value.
Step 2: List your debts
While you may want to pass on everything you have to your children, your creditors will have a say in that if you owe them money. Be sure to include any debts you currently owe, even if they are minor.
Step 3: Decide who you want to inherit your property, and why
Choosing who gets to inherit is often a rewarding experience, but you also want to decide why you are choosing to leave inheritances. Your estate planning attorney will be able to craft a plan that meets your specific desires, but there are some estate planning tools you may not be aware of. Because of this, it’s good to know the general goals you have for your inheritances so your attorney can tell you about options that can help you achieve them.