Although we do not live to see the results, a last will and testament is often a reflection of our most important decisions in life. We work hard to earn and maintain our assets throughout our lifetimes, and we want to know that these things will help and comfort the people or the institutions we love.
- What are the basic things I need to keep in mind while writing a will?
It’s good to start with a list of the major assets or items you want to list in a will. This will include all of your most valuable assets, such as real estate and highly-appraised items, but it may also include items of sentimental value that you know the beneficiary will appreciate.
- What is a beneficiary?
A beneficiary is any person, institution or entity that may receive all or part of your estate, which is made up of all the assets listed or referenced in your will. Relatives and close friends are common beneficiaries for most people writing wills, while cultural organizations are also often featured if people include major gifts in their wills or trusts.
- Who will make sure my will is followed?
A will, like any legal document, is enforced by an officer. You may choose a person to execute your will, referred to as an executor. An attorney can help identify an appropriate executor and work out the text of a last will and testament. Legal representation can ensure that detailed language covers all eventualities and leaves clarity for an executor and beneficiaries, as well as the will’s writer.