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What are Some Tips for Writing Your Own will?

Article Details
  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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The two best tips for writing your own will are to make sure, no matter what, to have one and to take your final draft to a lawyer to be certain it's legal. If you die without a legal will, any minor children you have could be placed in a relative's home chosen by the state. If no relatives are found to be suitable to raise your children, your kids could become wards of the state and placed into a group care home. To avoid either of these situations, you should name a guardian or guardians when writing your own will, to raise your children in case of your death. Even if you have no children, you must specify how you wish your estate and belongings to be distributed as they are not at all guaranteed to automatically go to your spouse or family.

To write your will, you must be of legal age in your state or area. You should title it "The Last Will and Testament of ..." and add your full name. The first section of your will should be a paragraph in which you state that you are of sound mind and not being pressured by anyone. When writing your own will, you must name an executor.

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The executor is given the task of making sure your will is carried out. He or she will also make sure payment is made for your bills, including funeral costs. The executor you choose should understand your wishes in your will and be willing to carry these out efficiently. You must leave clear instructions in your will for the executor.

When writing your own will, you should take time to reflect on your decisions and how you want to distribute what you have. Making decisions about guardians for your children is something you'll especially want to think about, but don't forget to choose a caregiver for any pets you may have as well. List the full names of all persons you mention in your will.

So that you don't procrastinate, give yourself a time limit to have your will prepared. Otherwise, you're taking the risk that you won't ever get around to having your will completed. You can use a do-it-yourself will kit that may be found for sale in drugstores, but after your will is completed, you must get it signed by two witnesses and take it to a lawyer. The two witnesses you choose must not be named in your will in any capacity. A lawyer can then work with the first draft of your will to make sure everything included is legal.

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