Crucial Things People Overlook When Drafting Their Will

Krystal Smith

Creating a will is an essential part of estate planning. A will allow you to decide how your assets will be distributed among your beneficiaries after death. But writing a will is only part of the equation. Creating a thorough and ironclad will that covers all your bases is equally critical. Unfortunately, many people concentrate solely on the creation part of the will, leading to confusion, hurt feelings, and even legal wrangling after their demise. Compiling the critical elements of your will is less distasteful if you break it down into smaller parts. The following list can help ensure you have the right elements in your will.

Digital Assets

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Addressing digital assets, including any online accounts (emails, social media, cloud storage, etc.), online articles, online subscriptions, domain names, virtual currency, and other digital files, is increasingly necessary. For example, if you own a Facebook account, you may want to have it closed after your death or leave it up as a virtual gravesite bearing pictures, music, and other things you liked in life. Or you may have thousands of digital photographs. Who gets to keep them? What if you bought all your music on iTunes? Can that be inherited? What if you purchased Bitcoin as an investment? It is good to cover these things in your will.

Pets

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If you have pets you love dearly, then it is a must that you appoint a guardian for them in your will. Make sure you choose someone who will take care of your pets and provide the basics for them.

Guardian for a Child

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If you have children, the most important estate planning action you need to take is to select a guardian. If you don’t, a court will decide. You can imagine what could happen if someone in your family disagrees with whom the court picks. A probate court guardian will have control of your children’s inheritance until they turn 18, when they get a check for whatever remains.

Funeral and Burial Wishes 

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Funeral and burial wishes may not have legal standing, but you are out to put your funeral and burial wishes in writing, too. These instructions make your wishes clear and guide your loved ones in what you would like.

Specific Bequests

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Designate a specific item, asset, or property to leave to someone in your will. Things falling under a specific bequest could include a family heirloom, a certain sum of money, or even assets you want to donate to a charity.

Debts and Liabilities

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To make it easier for your executor, tell them what debts and liabilities you have and specify how your executor should deal with them after your death. This will help reduce your executor’s stress and help ensure the estate is looked after responsibly.

Executor of the Will

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Your executor will be the person whom you designate to carry out the wishes contained in this document. After your demise, the executor will administer your estate according to your legal and community standards. The person appointed should be trustworthy, dependable, able to handle financial matters, and fairly well organized.

Alternate Beneficiaries

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Design your will to include an alternate beneficiary or beneficiaries. For example, designate one beneficiary; if he or she cannot inherit, a figure will receive such beneficiary shares. This way, if your beneficiary loses his or her life or cannot inherit such benefit, a substitute for that beneficiary will automatically be established. This way, no matter what, your estate will automatically be distributed to someone, as you have instructed.

A Guardian For Those With Special Needs

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Appoint a guardian to advocate for and provide for the long-term care and best interests of any adult dependent with special needs or disabilities after you pass away. Then, you can rest assured they will be well taken care of.

Digital Estate

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When you pass away, a digital executor will be assigned to handle your online presence and digital assets. They need to know, of course, that you’ve mentioned them in this capacity and also have a way to access your passwords and the instructions for cleaning up your digital footprint.

Healthcare Directives

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It is very important to create a living will and a financial power of attorney to determine the kind of medical treatments you would want if you become incapacitated. Sign a medical power of attorney so you can assign a person to be able to make those decisions for you.

Provisions for Elderly Relatives

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Make provisions to have a guardian for any elderly relatives who may need someone to care for them if you can no longer. You will need to see them occasionally and monitor their finances and general well-being.

A Business Succession Plan

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If you own a business, ensure its continuity with a Business Succession Plan. Often overlooked in a will, this provision outlines your “successor” who will continue to own and manage your business on your behalf (typically a spouse or child). Be sure to specify the operations and assets that characterize the business.

Regular Reviews and Updates

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Always be sure to review and update your will regularly. Anything from marriage to the birth of children can render your will invalid. Review at different times to ensure your document is as up-to-date as possible.

Effortless Ways to Earn Money While You Sleep

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If you are looking to boost your bank balance, take a look at these 16 easy ways to make money while you sleep.

High-Potential Careers Where Experience is Not Needed

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If you have little experience in working different jobs but you are looking for a well-paid career, take a look at these low-skill, high-paid jobs.

Legit Ways to Make $200 in One Day

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Are you in need of some extra cash and want to make $200 a day quickly? Whether you have an unexpected expense, want to supplement your income, or just want to work from home, there are numerous legitimate ways to achieve this goal.

 

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