CREATING A WILL: Step-by-Step Guide

CREATING A WILL
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Creating a will helps in the distribution of your properties when you are dead without conflicts or confusion. This article centers on creating a will for your beneficiaries; creating a will free and online, and creating a will with or without a lawyer, especially in a city like Texas. Let’s get on to it.

Creating a Will Overview

Creating a will is the act of making a document of your properties to whom you will give possession of your properties when you are no longer alive. It is the legal process of distributing your properties to the beneficiary that you want.

Making a will is a process when you choose the beneficiary that will own your properties when you are no more. When creating a will, it should be done promptly. A will is also known as a last will or testament. When creating a will, you should have a witness that can issue the document when you are not alive. They can be guardians, e.t.c.

The Benefits of Creating a Will

Things happen, and most of the time we don’t have control over those things. No one ever plans to die or for something bad to happen. That’s not to imply that wills are only used when a person dies. However, when these things happen, like the death of a father or so, how do the children and relatives divide the assets? How do they know who to give the assets to, and how do they avoid sibling and family rivalry and conflict? All of these concerns revolve around the reason for creating a will in the first place.

You can already tell how important creating a will is from what I have briefly explained. But there is more. The benefits of creating a will cannot be overemphasized. Its advantages are too numerous to mention. But for the purpose of this article, we will be mentioning only a few. Without further ado, let’s just look at those benefits aside from the ones you probably already know.

  • Creating a will allows you to choose successors for your properties. They can be your family members, children, pets, e.t.c.
  • It avoids unnecessary struggle and expense when you are gone.
  • It helps ease burdens, reduces conflict, saves time, and saves money.

Why Should You Have a Will?

In the U.S, about 40% of the population doesn’t have a will. Here are some reasons why you need to create a will: 

  • To keep your properties out of the people you don’t want to let have your properties. It can be your external relatives.
  • It enables you to choose who gets your properties and the quantity you want. 
  • It makes your children get access to your properties faster and easier when you are not alive.
  • It is also used as a means to offset your estate tax through giving charitable donations.

Creating a Will Online

Creating a will online is easier to do and it reduces costs or none at all. In creating a will, they provide the basic tools or forms for you to use in drafting, printing, and signing to make your will, such as; attorney, guidance, healthcare directives, living wills, e.t.c. When creating a will, you will have to keep this in mind; that is,  

#1. Having Knowledge of Your Assets

When creating a will, you have to take down records of all your assets, including your savings and investments, so as not to overlook your properties. 

#2. Choose Your Beneficiaries

In creating a will, when picking a beneficiary, which can be your friends, children, e.t.c., in making it, you can decide who gets the properties and the quantity and time the person should get them.  

#3. Select an Executor

When creating a will online, you will have to choose an executor who will take charge of your properties and oversee that the assets reach the people that you have named in the will. The executor can be a friend or an attorney (they can charge you). 

#4. Create a Site for Your Will

Creating a will online, you need a site to do that. When selecting a site, check for the one with the latest update in your area about creating wills. Here are lists of sites for creating wills online;

  • Fabric
  • Willing
  • Quicken willmaker & trust
  • Legalzoom 

#5. Put Your Will in a Safe Place

After creating your will, you have to keep it in a safe place to avoid misplacing it. You can also get a second copy of your will and lock it in a safe for future reference. 

Creating a Will for Free

Some individuals do not have the money to pay an attorney, a lawyer, or a professional to create a will for them. But there are ways in creating your will for free. This is made possible by nonprofit organizations. Here are the ways in creating a will for free;

  • Make a list of your assets.
  • Select an executor.
  • Choose your beneficiary.
  • Decide who gets the properties and the quantity. 
  • Find a nonprofit organization that provides free-will programs like AARP’s Legal Counsel for the Elderly, Serving Our Seniors, and Pro Bono Wills programs. They help in providing ways of creating wills.

Creating a Will and Trust

When creating a will, you can provide a trust for the properties till they are given to the beneficiary. The trust is the one that provides protection to your property and ensures that it reaches the beneficiary. They save time and reduce paperwork. They have four main types of trusts they are; living trust, testamentary, irrevocable, and revocable trust.

What Are the Benefits of a Trust?

  • Trusts allow for flexibility.
  • They work with their range of term benefits like the revocable trust, which helps in disability but not death. 
  • Trusts oversee the property and protect and direct the use of the assets.
  • They provide tax benefits in some cases and avoid the probate process.

Creating a Will Online

Creating a will online is a process of making a will on-site without the help of a lawyer, but the site provides online services that will guide you through creating a will with low fees or no fees at all. The online site provides services that will guide you in creating your will for free. Sections like;

  • Living Will.
  • Durable Financial Power of Attorney (DFPOA).
  • Beneficiary Designations.
  • A free attorney only in California.
  • Revocable Living Trusts.

After or before the section, you have to do the following:

  • Fill out the necessary documentation online.
  • After creating the will, you will have to print a copy of it. 
  • After printing, sign it and keep it safe.

Creating a Will Without a Lawyer

When making a will, some individuals do not want to create a will with a lawyer because of the charges. It is possible to create a will without a lawyer’s presence. Here are ways to create a will without a lawyer:

#1. Decide How You Want to Create Your Will

In creating a will, there are ways to create your will, like the DIY will kit or blank will form. The online process is easy and free to do, with a minimum amount of time of about 25 minutes for the whole process. Freewill is a good online site.   

#2. Make Your Will Understandable and Valid

When making a will, you must be in possession of valid possession, and your language must be understood so as to be approved by all and avoid confusion.  

#3. Choose an Executor for Your Beneficiaries

Your executor can be a friend or a guardian that protects and directs your properties for your beneficiaries and must be trustworthy.  

#4. List Your Assets

When making your will, you have to keep a record of all your possessions (savings, investments, e.t.c.) to avoid overlooking and be specific about to whom the property is going to be willed. That is, be specific about your assets and choose who gets the properties, including what will happen to your pets.

 #5. Select an Executor for Your Will

When creating a will online, you will have to choose an executor who will take charge of your properties and oversee that the assets reach the people that you have named in the will. The executor can be a friend or an attorney (they can charge you).

#6. Print and Sign Your Will in Front of Your Witnesses and Safe Keep

You have to sign your will after completing it. It is important to sign your will to make it valid in front of your witnesses (guardian, e.t.c.).  

How to Make a Will With a Lawyer

When making a will, it is best if you have a professional or a lawyer for assistance in drafting the will for you. It is not necessary if you have few assets. But you can if you want. You can also get a lawyer and still draft your will with your own hands. Here are some reasons you need a lawyer to draft your will for you;

  • One reason you want a lawyer is that you have many beneficiaries or blended family members.
  • If you want to disinherit your child, you need a lawyer.
  • When you need a lawyer is when you have many assets, especially in multiple areas or states.
  • If you are a business owner, you will need the help of a lawyer.
  • In case of confusion or conflict that might occur in the will, you will need a lawyer.

Creating a Will in Texas

In Texas, anyone can create a will there if they want. But only that the will should be valid and easy to understand. Here are ways of creating a will in Texas:

#1. Handwrite Your Will if You Have Very Small Properties

If you have little property, you can handwrite your will, but it is risky if there is no witness. When handwriting your properties, you need witnesses to testify that it is your handwriting. 

#2. Find a Free Site for Your Online Drafting to Be Easier

For making a will, you need to find a free will site that is good and updated for good assistance in creating a will in Texas. Depending on your area, they are good sites for creating a will. If you use a Texas attorney in creating your will, you will have to pay a certain fee for the document.

#3. Identify Yourself and Clearly State Your Intention

When making your will, state your intention. Be specific in the creation of your will. The title of your will starts with your name. Then you list your intentions if you are creating your will in Texas to avoid confusion in the court.

#4. List Your Assets and Your Beneficiaries

Take down a list of all your assets to avoid overlooking them. List your beneficiaries and specify which assets belong to each. And if they are residue, specify who gets it. This also applies if you are creating a will in Texas

#5. Identify the Person You Want to Handle Your Estate or Large Properties

If you have an estate or large property, you can have an executor that is trustworthy, which can be your friend, a guardian, an attorney (you have to pay for an attorney), e.t.c. Before you make your will, let them know what you want to do and to whom you want to “will” your properties. Make sure you both have an agreement on what will happen in the will. They will help you to protect and direct your properties. And for the guardian, look after your beneficiary until they grow, and the guardian’s name should be listed when also creating your will in Texas.

Conclusion

Getting a lawyer for the drafting of your will may cost close to $100, $400 per hour, or even more. Whether you create a will by yourself or you get a lawyer for that, whatever happens in the will is going to be your idea and will. 

More so, it is good to have a will promptly to avoid uncertainties happening to your beneficiaries. This article will tell you about creating a will. It is best to seek the assistance of a professional. 

Creating a Will FAQs

What are the basic types of will?

There are types of wills namely; Simple, Testamentary trust, Joint, and Living.

Why is having a will important?

A will is essential to you because it allows you to choose the beneficiary that will possess your properties when you die. if you don’t have it your properties will be shared in a way you don’t want it.

A will can be legal if the person making the will signs or mark the will in front of witnesses. It applies in both old will for an update or a new one and the old one will be invalid. Your will should be one.

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