What should you include in your will’s first draft?

When you’re getting ready to write a will, there might be many things that you want to include. Since this is your first draft, now is the time to get down all your thoughts and feelings, so you can work with your attorney to put together a will that fully describes your wishes and intentions.

Creating your will is the cornerstone of your estate plan, so having one is truly essential. It is one of the ways that you get to decide who gets control over which pieces of your property. It can give guidance on whom your young children will go on to live with if you pass away. It can also save your family time and money.

Why do people put off making a will?

Some people delay making a will because of the concerns they have about addressing their eventual death. Others may think it will take a long time or be too complex.

The good news is that your first draft is just that: a draft. In your draft, you can sit down and think about how you want to divide your property. Consider what you’d like to say to those you’re leaving behind.

What should you include in your will’s first draft?

Some of the things you can include in the draft are:

  • Directions on how to divide your physical property
  • Directions on dividing your digital property or stocks
  • Comments about how you’d like your funeral to be run
  • Information on your preferences for guardianship
  • The names of those you’d like to have as executors (it’s a good idea to choose two in case one cannot fulfill the role)
  • A letter of instruction

Go over these topics with your attorney, and they will help you start working out a will that is exactly what you want. Once you have a final draft prepared by your attorney, you’ll need to have a witness (someone who is not a beneficiary) watch you sign it. You may need more than one witness, but your attorney may be able to help you find more witnesses if you don’t have any present to help.

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