There’s a lot that goes into creating your first will, but once you’re done you’ll feel much better about your future. While no two people take the same approach to estate planning, there are some steps everyone should take when creating their first will.
Before you do anything, there are five questions you should attempt to answer:
- Is a will enough for the time being? For example, you may find that a will and a trust is the right approach to estate planning. If a will isn’t enough to protect you, your family and your assets, don’t stop here.
- Who will you name as your executor? This is the person responsible for administering your estate upon your death. This is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make when creating your first will, as your executor is staffed with many important tasks.
- Who will you name as the guardian of your children? This pertains to you if you have children under the age of 18. The person you name as guardian will step in to raise your children should you and your spouse pass on before they reach legal age.
- Are you familiar with all your assets? You don’t want to leave anything out of your will, as doing so puts the asset at risk upon your death. Furthermore, it can cause a divide in your family. Make sure all your assets are included.
- Are you on the same page as your spouse? If you’re married, it’s critical that you and your spouse take a joint approach to estate planning. For example, if you want to name one person as the guardian of your children and they want to name someone else, it will take a compromise to find common ground.
These are the types of questions you should answer as you create your first will. Doing so will allow you to better understand what you’re up against and the direction you want to go.
It can be a challenge, but once you create a will it’s easier to feel confident in what will happen to your estate and loved ones upon your death.