At first, making your will may not seem pleasant. But when it’s done, you’ll have the assurance that you’ve lightened the load for your family– when the time comes. And while you’re at it, enjoy some memories and plan some surprises.
When my mother was getting on in years, she looked around and found nothing she wished to leave for my sister and me. So she immediately took up doll collecting. And my father explained his wishes for burial.
Why consider such things?
1) It takes the pressure off of our children.
2) We get to have our say. Thus, it brings a measure of comfort and a way to retain our independence while growing older.
What are the main points when making your will? Where you’ve been, what you own, and what will become of it.
First, a will can be as simple or complex as you desire. It can be drawn up with the help of an attorney who will offer worksheets to help you through the process. Or you can make your own with the help of a template found online.
Second, round up your assets. This includes bank accounts, stocks, real estate, and any business ventures you may own.
Third, what items of value– whether monetary or sentimental– do you wish to specifically designate?
Fourth, appoint an executor for your estate. This is a person you trust to carry out your wishes and is capable of handling all legalities. Make sure the person agrees to represent your best interests and let them know where your will is located.
Fifth, update your will as often as you like. If you change your mind about an asset, need to appoint a new executor or want to add someone in, make an amendment. It’s sometimes a good idea to destroy your previous will if there are major changes.
Dividing Your Estate – How to Decide Who Gets What
Does your grandson love to discuss your collection of old sports equipment? Has your daughter or granddaughter accompanied you to yard sales searching for specific treasures? Look around your house. Who comes to mind? If you connect certain items with a specific loved one, perhaps your will should reflect that connection.
When it comes to money and financial assets, many split equal shares among their children or grandchildren. However, it’s up to you. If one child has expended themselves in your behalf more than the others, you may wish to “pay them back.” If you’d like to designate money to send one grandchild to college and to buy another one a car, let that be known.
Your last will and testament is whatever you want it to be. Leave them some surprises.