9 Essential Tasks for Getting Your Last Will and Testament in Order
Spring is right around the corner, and that means it’s time for some spring cleaning! While you’re freshening up your space, there’s another important aspect of your life you shouldn’t forget about tidying: your last will and testament. Spring cleaning is the perfect opportunity to make sure your documents are in order and secured.
If you have a will already, great! Take some time to review it. If you don’t have a will, now is a good time to get started.
So, here are 9 essential tasks for getting your last will and testament in order:
If You Don’t Have a Will
1. List your beneficiaries. These are the people you want to leave your property to. This step also allows you to decide how you want to divide your property between them.
2. Designate an executor and alternate executor. The executor is the person who will administer your estate after you have passed. The alternate executor is responsible for these duties if your chosen executor is unable to. Choose someone you trust and know will be able to handle your affairs appropriately.
3. List all your children and decide who will care for them. If your children are too young to care for themselves, you need to designate someone to care for them.
4. Choose your funeral details. Listing your funeral wishes helps your family members handle your final arrangements, and removes the burden from them in the event of your death. This is a good time to express end of life requests, as well.
5. Sign and date your documents with witnesses. Two witnesses and a notary are required to sign the will.
If You Do Have a Will
6. Gather your documents in one place. Set up a file, a safe, or a drawer for your last will and testament documents so you’ll always know where they are.
7. Revise as necessary. Take some time each year to look over your affairs and add anything new and important to your will and testament. Spring cleaning is a great time to do this!
8. Tell someone where your papers are. Someone you trust should know where your last will and testament is located. This person can be a friend, family member, and even your lawyer.
Finally, whether you’re making your will for the first time or revising it:
9. Get a lawyer to look over your last will and testament. A lawyer can ensure that your documents comply with state law and that your wishes will be respected and carried out as you desire.