The availability of documents etc. make it is easy to physically construct a will these days, but the decisions that you have to make along the way can be some of the hardest of your life. There are a few critical things that you need to think very carefully about, with the help of your loved ones.
If you’re worried about mental incapacity, you might want to consider granting someone close to you lasting power of attorney. This is just one aspect of creating a will that requires your careful thought.
This article includes some of the more difficult things that you may have to consider when drafting your will.
Naming an executor
After you’ve determined roughly how much you’re worth, you’re going to have to take care in appointing the person who is to handle all of your legal and financial matters after your death.
In addition to considering the wide range of things your executor is going to have to do for you, and who would be best suited to do it, there are a number of other factors to consider, like the fact that perhaps appointing two people would be safe option to take in case one of them is incapacitated.
You should also appoint someone who is younger than you, so there will be less of a chance that they’ll die before you do.
Being an Executor is a serious responsibility, and people have to perform their duties at times of heightened grief and stress. Making sure you choose someone you think will be reliable is essential and your will is your opportunity to do that.
If you don’t write a will, the onus will fall on your next of kin. For many this is no problem, but for some the opposite is true. Your next of kin would have to apply to the probate registry for a Grant of Representation. If they will be executing your will, make sure you have gone through the process and duties with them.
What to consider when appointing guardians
If you have children that are in your care, you’re going to have to appoint other adults as their legal guardians in the event that you pass away. Aside from making sure that they are willing to take on such a massive responsibility, you need to consider a range of other factors.
You need to ask yourself how you feel about the potential guardian’s values, and if you want your children growing up under the tutelage of someone with those values. Needless to say, you need to consider their current relationship with your children, and if your children even like them or not.
In addition to considering whether they are, overall, able to contribute a safe, loving environment for your children, you need to think about whether they are capable of doing it over a long-term period.
What to consider when distributing your estate and assets
This is when things get complicated, so it helps to keep a clear mind with sound legal advice available to guide your decisions.
First of all, making clear who your dependents are isn’t as straightforward as it may seem – you might have to cater for your ex-spouse, for instance, who may or may not be still dependent on your financial assistance.
You also have to figure out if you want to give your beneficiary a lump sum, or spread out the money they are receiving over time.