If you haven't started taking care of your estate plans, now's the time to start, especially if you haven't even written out a will. Wills are like road maps; they point your family in the right direction once you've passed. Unfortunately, if you don't have a will, your family may be lost once you're gone. Wills don't need to be extravagant, but they do need to include key details regarding what you want to have done with your estate. Here are four tips to help get you started with your will.
Include Your End-of-Life Plans
While you're writing your will, you need to think about what will happen in the time before your passing – specifically, your end-of-life plans. You may know that you don't want any heroic efforts to be taken to extend your life, but your family might not know about those wishes. The same is true if you do want heroic measures, such as life support machines, to be used to extend your life. To make sure that your end-of-life plans are honored, they should be included in your will.
Explain Your Reasons for Omissions
Choosing beneficiaries can be a difficult task, especially when there are certain individuals that you want to leave out of your will. This is particularly true where family members are concerned. You may think that you can simply leave them out of your will. However, if you don't name them – even to state that they're being left out – they could sue your estate. Unfortunately, that can tie your will up in probate court for years. To reduce the risk that someone will contest your will, be sure to explain your reasons for omissions. In other words, specifically name each person you choose to omit and explain why you're leaving them out of your will.
Don't Overlook Your Digital Possessions
When you're dividing up your possessions, don't forget about the items that you can't put your hands on. You may have digital possessions that will need to be included in your will. For instance, passwords to your online accounts will need to be divided up, as well. If you have social media accounts, you'll need to designate a beneficiary for those, as well. Designating a beneficiary for your social media accounts will ensure that someone has access to your photographs and other items stored on those pages. It will also ensure that someone can overlook the page as a memorial site after your passing.
Revisit Your Will at Least Once a Year
Once you have your will, don't assume that you're done with it. Wills need to be revisited from time to time. That's because circumstances can change between when you write your will, and when you pass. To make sure that your will is adjusted for any changes that might occur in your life, be sure to revisit your will at least once a year, especially after major changes such as marriages, divorces, and births.
For more information, contact a company like Davis and Mathis today.