Do You Need to Set up a Will? Here Are Your Next Steps

Your will guides many crucial decisions after you die. These include property inheritance, who your executor will be, who will take care of your children, and more. Because of that, setting up a will properly is extremely important. In this article, we’ll talk about the steps you need to take to set up your will with the help of a professional. Read on!

What is a Will?

A will is a legal document that details how you want your property and possessions to be distributed after you die. It also specifies who becomes the executor of your estate, who will take care of any minor children, and more.

Steps Involved in Setting Up a Will

Here are the steps you need to follow when setting up a will:

Choose an Executor

An important first step when setting up a will is deciding on the person or entity that will handle all aspects of administering your estate once you’re gone. This should be someone trustworthy, organized, and capable of dealing with financial matters.

Gather Documents

Make sure to have copies of all necessary documents ready before meeting with a lawyer to set up your will. These could include birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, tax returns, and more.

Research Laws

Depending on where you live, the laws governing inheritance can be very different. It’s important to research these laws before setting up a will so that it is valid in your local jurisdiction.

Choose Beneficiaries

After researching the law, decide who will receive your estate after you die. This includes family members, friends, charities, or any other person or organization that you wish to leave something to when you pass away.

Create a List of Assets

Make a list of all your assets such as real estate properties, stocks and bonds, bank accounts and investments, vehicles, insurance policies, and more so they can be included in the will.

Choose a Lawyer

Find an experienced lawyer — such as wills lawyers Ottawa — who specializes in wills and trusts to help you draft your will. They can also make sure the document is legally binding and properly executed according to state laws.

A lawyer advising clients

Draft the Will

Once all of the necessary information has been gathered, it’s time to create a legal document that outlines asset distribution upon death. Make sure that this is done correctly so that there are no misunderstandings after you’ve passed away.

Finalize and Execute the Will

After everything has been drafted, take it back to your lawyer for final review and sign-off. This will officially execute the will and ensure it is enforced as intended once you have gone.

Benefits of Setting Up a Will

Here are the most important reasons you should set up a will:

  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that your wishes are laid out in an enforceable will can provide great peace of mind. It also ensures that your chosen beneficiaries receive what you intended for them.
  • Flexibility: A will allows you to change, update, or amend it at any time depending on life circumstances, making it a very flexible document.
  • Professional Guidance: Having a lawyer help you set up and execute your will is important for ensuring the document is valid in all jurisdictions and everything is done correctly and legally.
  • Avoid Disputes: By creating a detailed plan for dividing up your assets among heirs, setting up a will can help avoid disputes over your estate after you pass away.
  • Inheritance Planning: A will can also be used to plan out any inheritance taxes that may need to be paid at the time of death and set up trusts for children or other beneficiaries if desired.
  • Estate Administration: By choosing an executor, a will allows for someone to handle all aspects of administering your estate in the most financially efficient way possible upon death.

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