A will creates the foundation for your estate plan. By creating a will, you dictate who will receive your property after you die, among other things.
Many people have yet to create a will, and according to CNBC, only 33% of Americans have taken the time to put together their estate plans. If you still need to write your will, there are things you should include and things you should leave out of this legal document.
What to include
When you make your will, include your basic personal information as well as who you want to appoint as your executor. If you have any minor children, you should name a legal guardian for them. Additionally, you should add a list of the property you own and the beneficiaries of this property.
Remember that who you choose as your executor, legal guardian for your children and the beneficiaries of your property do not have to remain permanent. You can update your will at any time in your life to ensure it complements your wishes.
What not to include
There are certain types of property you should not include in your will, such as retirement or insurance accounts with listed beneficiaries. You should also avoid putting your personal wishes and desires for your funeral in your will and anything you do not want to go through the formal probate process.
If you own property of any type or have children, you should prioritize making a will. If you die without a will, state laws will dictate what happens to the property included in your estate.