Sunday, January 13, 2008

How to Write Your Will


Everyone needs to write a will even if you don't have significant assets. It can be done without expensive visits to a lawyer. With today's modern convenience of the Internet, there are plenty of online ways to create a will. A lot of these take less than an hour from start to finish and cost less than $100.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You'll Need

  • List of assets
  • List of debts
  • Last wishes



Step One

Calculate your assets. It is important to make an estimate of any assets you have. If you have less than $2 million, you may avoid estate taxes.

Step Two

Pick your heirs. When writing a will there are a lot of decisions to make--whom to leave property and/or assets to and appointing an alternate heir, in case your first choice doesn't survive.. If you are married your spouse should make a separate will. Property and assets that are jointly owned will automatically go to the surviving co-owner. Also, note that retirement accounts and life insurance where a beneficiary has been named are not under the jurisdiction of a will.

Step Three

When creating your will online always remember to print it and mail it to yourself. It is required by all states to have at least two witnesses when you sign your will. It may also be necessary to select executor or person who will carry out the terms of your will. This person, can and often is someone who will inherit assets under the will. Some states may require a notarized witness affidavit.

Step Four

Once your will is completed, put it in a safe place. Make several copies of your will and keep them in separate locations. Tell your loved ones and your executor where your will is.

Step Five

See Resources below for links to online will sites.

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