What to look out for if you write your own will

In Show 112- Fast Fix Monday – What to look out for if you write your own will originally broadcast on Facebook Live on Monday 23 July 2018.

Show Notes

We’ve been talking about estate planning and retirement all this month.  A key part of that process is writing a will that clearly lays out your wishes for friends and family.  Some people decide to write a will by themselves.  This isn’t a method we recommend.  Given the complexities of estate law, having a professional to help you is for the best.  But for those that are set on doing it for themselves here are some tips:

  • Guardianship of children

Who should take care of any minor children in the event of your death.  This isn’t an easy question to answer but there are some things you should consider.  Finding people who share your values or beliefs is important.  As is finding someone that your kids are already familiar with.

  • Assets

Make sure you have a clear list of all the assets you own.  Creating a list of everything along with their estimated value will go a long way to helping you to decide how to divide the estate.

  • Cherished items

When you’re making a list of your assets don’t forget to include the smaller things that may not have much value but will still mean a lot to your family.  When you write the will you need to make sure that you include those things in a letter of wishes

  • Appoint an executor

This is the single most important thing you will do during this process.  The executor essentially takes over the duty of administering your estate upon your death.  They will make funeral arrangements and then make sure your wishes are carried out.  It doesn’t have to be a family member and they don‘t have to be a beneficiary.

  • Pick your beneficiaries.

Deciding who should get what is another big decision.  It can be people, charities or other organizations.  If you are going to exclude someone in the family you definitely need to consult a lawyer to make sure it’s done correctly.

  • Pick the right charities

Many charities have specific rules on wording that must be included in a will in order for the gift to be accepted.

  • Funeral arrangement

You don’t want to include every detail about your funeral in your will but you do want to make sure the big things are dealt with.  If you want to be cremated or buried in a certain place make sure that’s include.

  • Include consultants details

The people that may have helped you draft the will should be listed.  Those include your lawyer, financial planner and accountant.

  • Power of attorney

Appointing someone to make decisions for you in the event of you being incapacitated is an important part of this process.  It’s a separate document from the will and the person will be able to take over in the event of an illness or accident.

More about this Show

We started Business Legal Lifecycle to create a simple way for you to understand complex legal terms.  Most importantly we want to help you to develop a plan to take your business successfully into the future.  There’s a startling statistic the underscores the importance of developing a solid plan.  The majority of business owners are just seven months away from losing everything.  A single aspect of your business that is not set-up correctly can shut down your whole operation very quickly.   Legal advice is not cheap and even when you can afford it there is often a divide between lawyers and their clients.  We want to close that gap once and for all.  We want to put legal knowledge and tools into your hand to prevent the worst from happening to you.

Twice a week we are going to deliver those tools right to your home or office with Business Legal Lifecycle TV.  We’ll start the week with Fast Fix Monday, a short 5-10 minute video that will tackle a single issue that businesses have to deal with.  Then on Wednesday’s our main show will feature with more fulsome discussions and interviews all delivered in a straightforward and easy to understand format.