Simple step by step guide to write a legal will
Although an individual may write many WILL during his or her lifetime and edit it but the last WILL before his death will be considered as final and legally executable WILL. In certain cases, a probate might be required to prove that the Will was the last valid will of the deceased. When an individual dies intestate (without a valid will), in that case the state laws decide how distribution of estate is to be done. The probate Court will appoint an administrator for distribution of assets.
The following article describes step by step guide on how to write and execute a legal WILL and things to be taken into consideration.
STEP-1 ASSIGN A TITLE TO WILL
You must assign a valid title to the will document like MY LAST WILL or LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT etc.
You should take help of 2 attesting and responsible witnesses in the will. It is advisable to involve 1 Doctor and 1 Attorney as witness because it will prove that you were mentally stable and sound while writing the WILL and hence it will be really difficult to challenge your will. You cannot give gifts to the attesting witness but if you wish to gift an executor of WILL then that is allowed.
In the will document you will provide your Full Name and residential address along with the following declaration
You are of a legal age(18 years in most countries) to draft a WILL and are of sound health and memory;
This is you last and final WILL and all previous WILL must be revoked, if any;
You are not under undue pressure or influence to write this WILL.
STEP-4 ASSIGN AN EXECUTOR
It makes sense to assign your surviving spouse or main beneficiary in you will, as the executor since they would have complete information about your assets and interests to be taken care of. Alternatively, you can appoint any of your reliable family member or a trust worthy friend as an executor. In special conditions, where you kids are minor and no natural parent will be there to take care of them then you should appoint a legal guardian and specifically mention how you would like to provide for their education, marriage and other expenses.
STEP-5 BENFICIARIES OF WILL
List out name of beneficiaries of assets in you will. Typically individuals nominate their spouse, children and other important family members. However, you can also nominate any special person or friend in your will as beneficiary. Here you should mention how you would like to distribute your assets to your beneficiaries. The paragraphs should be numbered and recorded in the Will to ensure that no extra paragraph or page is inserted or tampered with in future.
STEP-6 WITNESS ATTESTATION
The witness must sign the legal WILL document in your presence and record day, date and time on the WILL. It is recommended to create separate affidavits for witness attestation on legal stamp paper declaring that the witness known to you are of required legal age, that they are of sound mind and they are not under undue duress or undue influence. It is important to note that both the witness and you sign the WILL on the same day and mention time, day and place also on the document. Online site after.me offers facility of storing your important documents and ensures that it is delivered to the right person after your death.
STEP-7 VIDEO RECORDING
The last and final step would be to do a video recording of your WILL which will make it absolutely foolproof and nobody would be able to challenge its authenticity. In case you are not sure about the security of your WILL, you can take help of websites like after.me to store your text or video WILL.
AUTHOR – Indar is an upcoming author, blogger, motivator and influencer. His articles and blogs have featured in different websites, blogs and magazines. He has written interesting and informative articles on various subjects including Shipping and Logistics also.