HOW TO WRITE A SIMPLE WILL: Detailed Step By Step Guide

how to write a simple will

It can be painful to write a will because it forces you to think critically and clinically about your own mortality and the value of your assets once you pass away. A will, however, is one of the most important legal documents you will ever draft. Simple will ensure that your final wishes are carried out without your involvement. However, how do you draft an essential will? There are other possibilities outside hiring an attorney, which is the most popular and expensive choice. Below is what you need to know about how to write a simple will using a template.

What is a Simple Will?

Simple will specify what you wish to happen to your possessions once you pass away. Your possessions could range from your great-grandmother’s clock to your teenage notebooks to your home, automobile, and financial accounts. You might be startled to learn that since your pets are regarded as property, you must leave them in the care of someone else.

What Constitutes a Valid Simple Will?

One of the main reasons people put off completing a last will and testament, besides not wanting to think about death and not knowing where to begin, is the worry that their will won’t be valid when they pass away.

Knowing that the conditions needed to make a simple will depend on the state in which you live is among the most crucial things to know. You must be at least 18 years old, make your will when you’re in good mental health and aren’t being coerced, write it down, and sign it.

Four Ways to Write a Simple Will

There are various ways to draft a straightforward will. We’ll examine each carefully so you may choose the one that is most suitable for you:

#1. Utilize a paid online service

Online will service providers are plentiful, just like businesses that offer LLC or registered agent services. Estate or trust planning is a common advertising theme for paid online services. In addition to writing wills, these businesses often offer various other services. This makes them a good choice for people who want to set up trusts, powers of attorney, or other estate planning documents.

To ensure that documents will pass legal tests, we advise only utilizing a company like this if qualified attorneys will carefully examine its work. Before making a decision, make sure to check user reviews. Fees might range from a flat rate to a monthly membership to utterly free use of an online simple will template, depending on the business and the services required.

#2. Utilize a paid in-person service (Lawyer or Attorney)

The conventional approach most people take is to hire a lawyer or attorney to write a simple will, and for a good reason: having professional help in your process can offer a level of certainty that’s hard to get elsewhere. Services provided in person need more time and money than other possibilities.

Depending on where you live, it can be difficult to find a professional you can rely on. However, you should consider hiring a lawyer if you have complex issues like property spread across several states, a sizable estate, or concerns about Medicaid planning or trusts.

#3. Buy in a DIY template or kit.

A DIY Simple Will Kit is something you can acquire online or even buy off the shelf in certain physical places. These kits provide all the instructions, forms, and illustrations you’ll need to create and legally certify your own straightforward will. No matter where you are, you can find kits for your country of citizenship that will make the process easier.

Although the costs of kits are on par with or less expensive than using an online paid service, these services typically only offer generic wills (e.g., simple wills), so if you are aware that your estate planning is complicated or that you have a lot of assets, you should think about using a paid service to provide you with direct support.

#4. Write up Your Own

Writing a will may seem complicated, but if your estate is simple, it’s pretty simple. Before writing a will, you should be somewhat conversant with legal terminology. A lot of this will already be completed for you if you utilize a DIY kit or template. Before you do anything else, review any legal requirements of your state and country if you decide to write it entirely yourself. Wills and estates are governed by a wide range of rules that can vary by state and country. For your document to be considered legal, it must meet these requirements.

How to Write a Simple Will

Writing your own will with careful planning and preparation is undoubtedly possible. The details you must include in your straightforward will are listed below.

Please be aware that this list is based on the premise that you want to write a simple will since your estate is easy and straightforward. This approach might not be helpful to you if you have a complicated or sizable estate with many moving elements. Instead, think about the advantages of engaging an estate lawyer.

#1. Write a title. 

It’s simple to ignore, but everybody who picks up this document needs to know that it contains your final will and testament. Make sure to put your entire legal name anywhere in the will’s opening. Make sure to note that your most recent will supersedes any earlier ones if you have made earlier iterations of your will. Add any other names you have employed.

#2. Name the executor of your will. 

This individual ensures that your estate is divided and settled by your will. Select a person you can trust. To be safe, you might also want to select a backup executor.

#3. Give any minors a guardian name.

Name a guardian if you have kids or are responsible for looking after any minors. After your death, this individual is given custody of your kids, both legally and physically. As long as the parent can be found competent, guardianship usually transfers automatically to any remaining parent.

#4. Organize and inventory assets. 

Any items that are yours or have your name on the title are considered assets. Assets include money, real estate, pets, and personal property. Spend some time outlining each item in detail, so there are no ambiguities when the executor transfers the asset to the designated beneficiary. Confirm with your state the assets you are not allowed to include. For instance, trusts and investment accounts are frequently not regarded as essential assets and pass immediately to your designated beneficiaries.

#5. Identify the recipients.

The person, business or nonprofit organization, or other entity receiving your asset(s) after your death should be named as the beneficiary of each asset. You have a variety of options. Include their names if anyone else shouldn’t obtain the asset in question.

#6. Write your residuary clause. 

A residuary clause covers anything not designated to a specific beneficiary that was either not sufficiently specified or overlooked when you were writing the will’s section on assets. These “remainders” can either be given to a beneficiary or left in the executor’s care. It’s unlikely that you will recall everything you own, especially if this is your first attempt at writing a will, so don’t dismiss the significance of this provision. A residuary clause is a good enough fail-safe to give you peace of mind.

#7. Sign your will with witnesses. 

Before signing, familiarize yourself with your state’s regulations since they may differ in the quantity and nature of witnesses. Some states can also require you to notarize your will. No will is legally binding until witnesses sign it.

#8. Store your will someplace safe and update it when necessary. 

Tell someone where to get the most recent version of your will; this is typically your executor. When you move, make a sizable purchase or real estate investment, go through a divorce, lose a loved one, or experience another major life upheaval. When your children reach adulthood, it’s essential to examine your will and make any necessary updates.

How to Write a Simple Will Template

Below is the template on how to write sample Will format:

I, Shri/Smt………………….., son/daughter/wife of Shri…………….., residing in…………….., by religion…………….., now revoke all of my prior Wills (or) Codicils and declare that this is my final Will, which I make on this…….

(Date)………………… My birthdate is……
I certify that I am in good physical and mental health. And
have created this Will voluntarily and only on the basis of my own free will, without anyone else’s influence.
I appoint Shri………………….. Son/daughter of ……………, resident of …………., to be the executor of this Will. If Shri…………… were to predecease me, then Shri……………. will be the executor of this Will.

I bequeath the following assets to my Wife Smt……………..

  • My residence is situated at (address)……………….
  • Bank balance of my savings account no…………………..with ……………(bank name & bank address)………
  • My Bank fixed deposits in …….(bank name)…..bearing ……..(FD receipt nos)……..
  • The proceeds of my Term insurance policy ….(Policy no)……, from…….(insurance company name)………
  • The contents of bank locker no………, with bank…………, bank address……………

Also, I bequeath the following assets to my son Shri……………

  • Residential Plot No., situated at…………….
  • My vehicle’s registration number is.
  • My mutual fund holdings with folio numbers………………
  • Any other asset that I own that is not named in this Will.

I am the owner of the aforementioned assets. These properties are not subject to any other rights.

Signature of Testator

Witnesses

We hereby swear that Shri……….signed this will as his final testament at……….(Place) in our mutual presence. The testator was of sound mind when making this will and was not under any duress.

Signature of Witness (1)                                                    Signature of Witness (2)

Read Also: CREATING A WILL: Step-by-Step Guide

The above draft is just a sample of Will’s template that can be used to write yours. Please remember that there isn’t a template or format for writing a will. It is always preferable to write a thorough sample Will template. You could seek the advice of a legal professional or think about using online will-writing services.

What is an example of a simple will?

“I transfer all of my homes to my spouse, Tex, subject to any mortgages or encumbrances on them, together with all insurance policies and payouts related to such property. I give the property to ____ if he dies before me.” Most people desire that their partners maintain the family house.

How can I make a simple will for free?

Utilizing an online platform like FreeWill is one choice. Our online will-maker is simple to use, personalized for you, and has instructions tailored to the state in which you reside. It can be finished in as little as 20 minutes and is free to use.

How do you write your own will?

In your will, you should:

  • Indicate that the paper is your will and that it contains your final instructions.
  • Indicate who you wish to receive your possessions upon your passing.
  • Appoint a person to carry out your final instructions.
  • If you have little children or pets, designate guardians to take care of them.
  • Put your signature on the will.

Can I write a will without a lawyer?

It’s legal to write your own will, and given how much it costs to draft a will with a lawyer, a do-it-yourself approach might be a cost-saving choice. But you need to draft a will that’s legal in your state and ensure it can stand up to scrutiny

What is the easiest way to make a simple will?

How to make a will without a lawyer:

  • Find an online template or service.
  • Make a list of your assets.
  • Be specific about who gets what.
  • If you have minor children, choose a guardian.
  • Give instructions for your pet.
  • Select the executor.
  • Choose a recipient for any leftovers.
  • Specify how you want to be buried.

Are homemade wills valid?

Your simple will should be enforceable as long as it was executed correctly and witnessed by two adults and independent witnesses who were present when you signed your will.

What is the cheapest way to write a will?

How to obtain a will:

  • Online programs. Online is currently the most affordable way to obtain a will.
  • Make a county call.
  • Deals in insurance.
  • A choice based on charity.
  • A nearby lawyer.

Can I draw my own will?

You don’t need a lawyer to draft a simple will; you can do it yourself. It must be notarized and comply with all legal requirements in your state.

Conclusion

Do not be hesitant to challenge your will. Choose a day, mark it on your calendar, and complete the task. It won’t be as terrible as you anticipate.

References

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