August is National Make-a-Will Month. If you don’t have a Last Will & Testament now is a good time to create one, especially if you have children. And if you already have a will, a review every three to five years is prudent. Here are the top 5 things to consider when creating your will:
- Consider all of your assets: home, brokerage accounts, bank accounts, fine jewelry, etc. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
- Who will you give these items to after you pass? Are there particular items that you only want to go to a specific person? Also, keep in mind your favorite charities, religious institutions, and even your alma mater – all great ways to leave a legacy!
- Pick the right person to be your executor: the person who will execute your will after you die. Make sure this person is capable, detail-oriented and gets along well with others.
- If you have minor children, name guardians for your children in the event that you (and your spouse) die suddenly.
- Update your will at major life changes: marriage, divorce, birth of a child, death of a beneficiary, etc.
You can write your own will, but be mindful of your state’s laws to ensure that the court accepts your will as valid. It is often wise to seek the assistance of an attorney, especially if your situation is complicated.