Wills are documents prepared by a person (testator) when they are alive stating how they would like their properties (estate) distributed upon their death. The testator nominates one or more persons as executors, charged with the responsibility of affecting the will. The testator then names (bequeaths) the beneficiaries to his will. Upon the death of a testator, the will is filed with the probate court by the executor. Once the court validates the will, the executor is free to start distributing the assets of the deceased under the will.
Reasons for writing wills
Many people are hesitant to draft a will since it is guaranteed that one will not be present to see the benefits of having made one. However, writing a will gives you peace of mind in knowing that the needs of your loved ones will be well catered for in your absence. You stop worrying and start enjoying your life after you have written your will.
Writing a will saves your family the worry and uncertainty that comes with appointing an administrator to your estate when you die intestate (without having written a will). In the latter situation, the courts can appoint administrators who do not earn trust from the beneficiaries to your estate. A will also save your underage children from the agony of having a court appoint their guardian in the event of your untimely death. Your children will be placed under your selected guardian who shares the same ideals as you.
Considerations to be made when writing wills
The selection of an executor. You should be able to trust your executor’s organisational skills and ability to make sound judgements, since administering an estate can turn out to be a complex undertaking. The executor has to notify the government of the testator’s death, handle the process in a probate case, and locate beneficiaries among other things. The executor will also have to settle all the testator’s liabilities, including overdraft facilities.
Choosing the beneficiaries to your will. Your spouse, favourite charities and extended family are the usual beneficiaries in your will. It is vital for a testator who has remarried to consider whether assets from your previous marriage will be shared between your new spouse or will only be inherited by your children. It is essential to establish the properties you outrightly own and those whose ownership is shared with your business partners or spouse. You can only bequeath your portion of a joint property.
Written by Faith Rockerspice
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