by Lesley Tweskard
A Will is a legal a
legal document which sets out the way your property is to be shared upon your demise. Despite the
usefulness of such a document, most people don't know how to make a Will. When you die without
having written a valid Will, the rules of intestacy apply automatically. This means your estate (or
assets, including monies) is divided in a per-determined manner and this may not reflect your
wishes. It is, therefore. imperative you consider long and hard before deciding on how to make a
Will that will be legally binding.
Requirements for a Will to be
· Made by a
person who is at least 18 years old
voluntarily without duress or pressure
· Made by person
of sound mind
· It should be in
· Signed in
presence of at least two witnesses/healthcare.
How to Make a Will
It is easy to
make a Will without professional legal assistance, however, there is some risk of making mistakes
while writing the will or during signing, which can render the Will ambiguous or invalid. If you
decide on this route, you might refer to online legal sites, or simply or find as estate attorney
to take you through the entire process on how to make a Will that will be valid and free from
ambiguity. Obviously professional help will cost money.
While deciding on
how to make a Will, selection of the beneficiaries should be a relatively straightforward procedure
unless your family structure is complicated. Be specific about who gets what. If in the case a
family member is excluded as a beneficiary, it is also advisable to make a note about that,
the Will Executor
This is the
person who will look after your estate after you are gone. The executor will pay all the debts,
collect all of your assets and distribute the estate in accordance with the Will. If you choose a
lawyer or a bank to act as the executor, the fee for this service is usually a certain proportion
(2-4%) of your estate assets.
If you opt for a
friend or a family member, you should determine the compensation they will receive, since executing
the Will can prove to be an arduous and complicated task.
Choose a Guardian
If you have
children, you will need to ask a family member or a friend for permission before appointing them
guardian. If they turn down your request and you're unable to find a substitute guardian, a court
will choose the guardian instead.
signing of the Will, you need two or three witnesses who are not beneficiaries of the will. The
witnesses need to be at least 18 years. If the Will is contested in the court, the judge will
require the witnesses to testify. If signed incorrectly, a Will can be rendered invalid by a
Once you make
your will, you need to decide where to keep the Will. The original witnessed and signed Will must
be produced when you die, otherwise you will be treated as if you died intestate. It is prudent to
store the original copy in a secure and fireproof location.
Now you know how
to make a Will, you should regularly review it to ensure it reflects your wishes. Circumstances
that necessitate updating a Will include:
divorced or married/remarried
· children or
relatives whom you wish to benefit from the Will, for example, nephews, nieces or
· If you acquire
new property or expensive assets like a car or parcel of land.
All that is
needed to write a Will, is the will to write. By writing a Will, you acknowledge you are not
immortal and that your wishes will be executed once you exit the stage.
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FreeWillstoPrint.com provides detailed
information on Free Wills, How to Write a Will, Last Will And Testament, Living Wills and more.