Writing a will may not be the most pleasant experience but it will ensure that your wishes are carried out when you pass away. If you do not have a will in place, how your assets are distributed may be left up to the courts, and it may not be according to what you would have wanted.
Writing a Will | Probate Lawyer in Cary NC
At Eldreth Law Firm, we have a probate lawyer in Cary, NC ready to help with your estate planning needs, including how to draw up a will. Take a look at some tips for writing a will and then give us a call if you have questions.
When writing a will, you should decide who you want to inherit your assets. If you are married, it may be your spouse. If you have children, you may want to ensure they are taken care of. If you do not have immediate family, you can designate other loved ones or even a charity as an heir. Keep in mind that if you have life insurance policies or a retirement plan where you can name a beneficiary, you will need to make sure both documents reflect the same person. If your will names one person but your policy names another, the policy will trump the will.
If you have children under 18, it is important to appoint a guardian for them in case you are not able to care for them. If they have another parent, it is customary for that person to get custody. However, families can be complex and there may be reasons why the surviving parent should not get custody. In that case, it is important to outline who should become their guardian.
A will needs someone to execute it, which is also known as a personal representative. You should appoint someone you trust to administer your estate. It can be a complex and time-consuming undertaking at times, so make sure the person you choose is up for the task. One way to make it easier for your personal representative is to have all of your estate planning documents available.
There are other often overlooked aspects to a will that you may want to include, such as:
- Bank account information
- List of retirement account and life insurance policy information
- Information on loans or debts that will need to paid upon your death
- Passwords to emails and other accounts
- Instructions on how to handle online or social media accounts
- Care instructions for your pets
- Instructions on how to care for or maintain your property
Once your will is in place, it is good practice to review it once a year to see if updates need to be made. Major life events, such as a birth or death, a marriage or divorce, or an adoption or guardianship can affect how you want your assets to be distributed.
Writing a will can be a daunting task, so if you need help call Eldreth Law Firm. We have a probate lawyer in Cary NC on staff who can guide you through the process. Call us to make an appointment today!