This month's Financial Fitness Plan is all about writing your will. This may be one of the most daunting exercises on our list, but it might also be one of the most important. You need to have this documentation in place to ensure that those most important in your life are taken care of, just in case. Below, we'll break down the components that make up a will.
First, you need to label this document as your 'Last Will & Testament.' Next, you'll need to write an introduction. This should state your full name, address, that you are over the age 18, and that you are of sound mind. You'll also need to note that no one is coercing you to create this document so that something is left to them.
Secondly, you will need to name an executor. This is the person who carries out the instructions listed in your will. Most of the time, if the person is married, they will name their spouse as the executor. However, you can also pick a friend or an attorney if you choose to do so. Whoever you select should be notified and agree to being an executor before you list them. Name an alternate in case your original choice is unable to follow through.
An heir is a person who will be benefitting from your estate. This can include a spouse/partner, children, parents, etc. They should be listed in a way that there can be no confusion as to their identity. Some states laws allow spouses to automatically inherit the estate. If you would like to change this, talk to an attorney.
If you have small children, you will need to select someone to care for them. Like the executor, you should talk to this person to make sure they are willing and able before listing them. You should also name an alternate in case your original choice is unable to help.
In some states, your document needs to be signed in the presence of a notary and then stamped. For the state of Utah, you can find a Notary Public HERE. You can also find a Notary at all of our Cyprus branch locations.
A witness is a person who was there when you signed your will and can attest to your state of mind. Ideally, these witnesses should not also be an heir.
If you have a complex estate or have questions regarding your specific situation, please reach out to an attorney who will be able to help you draft a will.
Check out our previous Financial Fitness Plans and come back next month for more tips and tricks: