The circumstances necessitating estate planning can be unpleasant to think about and people often avoid putting off writing their will. However, writing your will and establishing your priorities after your death is one of the best ways you can show love to the people you care about most. You may think you are too young to write a will, but the truth is that the sooner you write a will, the safer your loved ones will be.
If you have never written a will before, you may wonder what you should include. In this post, we will discuss some of the things you should consider when you are writing your will.
What Is a Will?
If you are writing your first will, you may be unsure about what a will is or what it does. Essentially, a will is a binding legal document that details what will happen to your property after you die. If relevant, a will can also address who will be appointed as a guardian for your minor children. A will also appoints someone who ensures the will is implemented correctly. This person is called an executor.
What Should I Include In My Will?
Although everyone’s situation and preferences will vary, there are some common things a will should address:
- Guardianship of Minor Children – If one parent is unfit or both parents have died, an Illinois court will use the parents’ will to decide who will be appointed the guardian for any minor children. It may be prudent to name two people as potential guardians and include why you think these people are an appropriate choice for meeting your child’s needs.
- Name Your Beneficiaries – Beneficiaries are the people who will inherit your material possessions after you die. Someone’s spouse, children, extended family, and sometimes even caregivers can be named as beneficiaries. The assets that a will addresses can be something of great worth, such as a large investment account, or something small of purely sentimental value. Having conversations with your family and asking them about items that may remind them of you after your death can avoid conflict and hostility among siblings and other family members when the will is executed.
- Choose an Executor – The executor of a will is responsible for a complex and often emotionally difficult job. Your executor should be someone whose judgment you trust, even under challenging circumstances. Choose someone you can rely on to act with integrity and who will respect your wishes after you have passed. You can make things easier for your executor by providing a detailed list of instructions, documents, and crucial details like passwords and account access.
Speak With a Lombard Estate Planning Attorney
Avoid potential mistakes in your will by doing it yourself or allowing an inexperienced third party to do it for you. Consult a DuPage County wills and trusts attorney who knows the ins and outs of Illinois estate law. The attorneys with A. Traub & Associates will work with you to ensure your will reflects your wishes. Contact us today at 630-426-0196 for a confidential consultation.