It's important for everyone to have a will, especially if you're elderly or ill. The purpose of a will is for you to have the final word on what happens to all of your money and property. You can write a will on your own, for free, and it'll be legally binding as long as you follow a few guidelines.
Write a headline. The most common is "Last Will and Testament."
Write your name, current address and your Social Security number and identification number. You want to be sure they know you're the author of the will.
Include the facts that you old enough to make a will (over 18), are thinking clearly enough to write a will and are doing it on your own; no one is forcing you to write certain things.
Decide who you want to be the executor of your estate. This is the person who will be in charge of reading the will and making sure that everyone gets what is owed to them. Most people choose their spouse as their executor, but you can choose anyone you trust.
Decide who will take care of your children if they're left without a parent.
Choose your beneficiaries. These are the people who will get your property and money. Be as specific as possible when naming these people.
Include details on items that already have a beneficiary outside of your will, such as a joint bank account.
Decide on details about your funeral. Things to think about are whether you'd like to be cremated or buried, whether you'd like to have an open casket and even whether you'd like to be left on life support if you're left unconscious. You can include any special requests here.
Sign and date your will with two witnesses present. They must also sign the will.
You can take your will to a notary to be notarised. This isn't required, but it's an extra safety measure in case there's any doubt about the content of the will.
The witnesses who sign your will cannot be your beneficiaries. Number your paragraphs to assure your will isn't taken apart and that no pages are removed.
Tips and warnings
- You can take your will to a notary to be notarised. This isn't required, but it's an extra safety measure in case there's any doubt about the content of the will.
- The witnesses who sign your will cannot be your beneficiaries.
- Number your paragraphs to assure your will isn't taken apart and that no pages are removed.