The Ultimate Checklist to Follow When Drafting Your Will

Thinking about your death and the events that may transpire afterward may seem like a morbid thing to do, but creating a will outlining your property distribution is important. It ensures that your property goes to the desired individuals and is protected from being meddled with.

Want to draft your will? Here’s what you need to do.

Identify Your Assets

The first thing you need to do is take a good look at your assets. This includes all your real estate, investments, credit cards, bank accounts, and retirement funds. In addition to these, you may also want to consider your personal property such as any antiques, artwork, or inherited items that you own that hold personal meaning and sentimental value that transcends their economic worth. Pretty much everything you own can be counted as an asset, depending on its sentimental or cash value.

Unless you recognize and identify what belongings count as assets, you won’t be able to control who gets them after your death. This is why it’s crucial that you compile your asset information and make it easily accessible for your family and friends.

Go Over Your Debts

While you’re at it, make a note of your debts to others. This includes credit card bills, equity loans, student loans, medical bills, personal debts, car loans, mortgage, and any other outstanding debts you owe certain individuals or organizations. Calculate the total cost and analyze whether you currently have enough cash that would cover this amount. Is there a solid flow of income or funds in the foreseeable future that can help pay back the debt?

Listing your debts also includes the ones others owe you. What do you want to do about these debts after your demise? Do you wish to have these collected and added to your assets, or would you prefer having them extinguished upon your death? You’ve got some financial decisions to make before you write your will.

Specify Your Beneficiaries

Now that you’ve established your assets and debts, it’s time to determine who your beneficiaries will be. This refers to the group of individuals (or just one individual) who’ll inherit your property as outlined in your will. This can include your immediate family members, relatives, friends, acquaintances, or even organizations and charities.

Specifying your beneficiaries makes asset distribution a whole lot easier. You can write which item you’d like to give to each beneficiary or how much cash you want an individual to inherit. The more specific you get, the better your wishes will be expressed in your will.

Decide Your Children’s Guardians

If you have kids who are minors, you’ll also want to decide upon a legal guardian. Typically this role goes to the remaining parent, but in case of death of both parents or if the parent isn’t an active part of your child’s life, you can choose another individual to serve as their guardian.

At the Law Offices of Ron Marquez in Chico, California, we have the best wills and trust lawyers to help you draft your will.

Get in touch with us today for more information or give us a call at 530-332-8110.

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