Everyone who has assets must prepare a will. Even those with no family to leave their property to need to keep in mind that a will is needed to ensure that their estate goes to the charities and organization they want it to. Creating a will can be an expensive proposition – lawyers do not come cheap. And the more complex the issues involved, the more that will be charged.
However, if your estate is uncomplicated and your bequests are direct and few, a simple will and testament will do for you. A lawyer should not charge much for preparing this, or, with a little study, you can do it yourself. Besides books, the internet provides a huge resource base for those wanting to understand how to prepare a do it yourself will and testament. Here are the basic steps to preparing a simple will and testament. Use these as pointers to guide your search for more detailed information on these issues.
Preparing A Simple Will And Testament
Conduct and inventory of your assets and your beneficiaries. If your assets are easily accessed and the beneficiaries are few, a simple will and testament will normally be enough. But if the estate is tied up and the beneficiaries are many and the distribution of the assets is complex, a simple will and testament cannot suffice. Using a simple will to cover a complex disposal of assets will only result in chaos and confusion.
Once you are sure that a simple will and testament is all you need, you must decide on how the document is to be prepared. If you want to use a lawyer, it is best to shop around, as the fees will vary. Some lawyers charge a flat fee for preparing a simple will and testament with a fixed amount of hours devoted to the job. If you prefer to create the simple will and testament yourself, stationery stores and the internet offer a variety of resources, including guides, forms and often, for a small fee, guidance and the answers to your questions.
Spend time ensuring that all you assets and beneficiaries are covered in the simple will and testament. Make sure there is no confusion on who gets what and if assets are to be divided, make the method of valuation and division clear. Put in a “residual clause” which will cover the disposal of any assets that may not be covered by the will (things you acquire after the will was prepared, for example).
Nominate and executor in the simple will and testament. This is the person whom you trust enough to see that all your wishes are carried out and who will have the authority to incur expenses to clear your debts and carry out your instructions. In case you have minor children, nominate a guardian for them.
And finally ensure that you sign your simple will and testament in the presence of adult witnesses – usually at least two in number. Getting your will notarized can avoid delays and complications in probate.