Making of a Will – The Basics

Making of a will is something you can do on your own.

Making of a will is something that you can do on your own. Be careful though, and don’t try to copy what an attorney does. This is not the best thing to do. When a self-made will is presented to the court the judge looks for certain things. He does not expect it to be typed or in legal language. In fact in some states a typed self-made will is a reason for the judge to find it invalid. A will should be handwritten; drafted with pencil & paper, in your own language. It is known as a holographic will. There is absolutely no legal requirement to type a self-made will.

While a will should be in your own words, it is a still good idea to deal with some basics in your will. That is why it is a good idea to have a template or list of what to cover in your will. I also recommend you do a little research into the laws drafted by your state, so you don’t miss something. The following are some things you should include in your will.

Making of a Will should include Guardians

In the making of a will, you should always give the names of the guardians for your minor children or incapacitated heirs. This is often a hard thing for folks to do. I recently finished drafting an estate plan i.e. wills, trusts, power of attorney & living wills of a couple. I started drafting the documents 14 years ago. It took them almost 14 long years to decide on a guardian for their special needs son. When they came back into the office last week after so long, I was surprised to see them. I went into details with them and discovered that after 14 years their oldest daughter could act as guardian for their son and the couple was ready to finish their documents. All this time they had been unable to find someone who they felt could take care of their son. I understand, but I wonder if something had happened to them before 14 years had passed, who the judge would have appointed to take care of their son? Generally this is a choice best made by the parents. As they signed I was able to see a smile on their faces and finally a guardian for their son.

Making of a Will should include a Division of Assets

In the making of a will some people feel a certain pressure on how to divide their assets. They want to do it in a manner that won’t upset any of their kids. So questions like, “How can I divide the assets equally among/between my kids?” “I have a child with special needs, should I give equal rights to all so that there are no conflicts later?” “I have children who owe me money; how do I take care of that?’ If these questions keep running through your head, maybe you should opt for making not just a will, but a complete estate plan.