announcement

Become a Contributor

How to Write a Will

How to Write a Will

If you're looking for information on how to write a will, sample included, then this article can be of help to you. Read ahead to learn how you can write your own will!
OpinionFront Staff
It is a common practice for a person to write his or her last will and testament. Many people consult an attorney, while doing so. But now, writing a will without a lawyer is also possible. Yes, all you have to do, is know the basics of writing a will, and you're good to go. In this article, you can see how extremely easy it is to make a will!

Writing a Will Yourself

Writing your own will is not as difficult as it sounds or seems. And you can definitely do it without a lawyer, though consulting one can be considered. Let us get to how to write a will, with a sample following it. Given here is a list of the steps that you must take before and during the process of writing the will.

Check : Check your state's laws regarding the age for writing and executing a will. Different states have different age limits. You need to know that you're well within your state's required age limit.

Plan : The next step is estate planning. You need to have a written record of all your tangible assets that you wish to relinquish upon your death. These assets include real estate, cars, bonds, stocks, and even small but valuable items. Valuables can be in monetary terms and even sentimental terms.

Decide : Once you've made a note of all your property and wealth (termed as estate), you need to decide two things. One - who will be the executor of the will. And two - in what percentage, and to whom do you want to distribute your estate to. Once you have decided the executor, make sure that he or she is well aware of the responsibilities and duties that lie before him or her.

Provide : If you have minor children, you are required to also make a clause within your will, providing information as to who, expressly appointed by you, will have legal guardianship of your minor children, until they turn 18.

Write : After the above steps, you can go about the actual process of writing the will. A sample, explaining the same is given below for your easy comprehension.

Last Will and Testament of (name of person)

First paragraph: In the first paragraph, you have to mention your name, date of birth, and your legal address, identifying you as the testator (writer) of the will.

Second Paragraph: In the next paragraph, mention the name of the person appointed by you, as the executor of the will. Mention the full name of the person, and also a second person's name, in case the first person is not able to fulfill the duties.

Third Paragraph: Here, you begin with the distribution of your worldly assets. Decide the percentage that each person gets, and make sure that the total adds up correctly.

Fourth Paragraph: Next, make provisions for your minor children, in the event of death of your spouse. Appoint a legal guardian, who will be responsible for the legal, financial and other matters, regarding your minor children, until they turn 18.

Conclusion: End the will with a statement mentioning the date of you signing the will.

Get two witnesses to sign the will for you, along with their full names and addresses.

Sample Will

Last Will and Testament of James Carlson

I, James Carlson, born on 9/15/1965, and residing at 21/Y, Pelham Road, North Avenue, NY, present this as my last will and testament. Any other will written by me, prior to this, shall be automatically revoked on reading of this will.

I hereby declare Sasha Smith as the legal executor of this, my last will and testament. In the case that Sasha is not able to perform her duties as the executor of this will, Grace Johnson is to take charge.

As per my wishes, I declare that the division of my estate shall be conducted in the following manner;
  • Real Estate: To my wife, I leave my entire real estate, including all the furnishing and property within.
  • Stocks and Bonds: All stocks and bonds that I own (details of which are attached herewith), are to be handled by my wife.
  • Cars: The two cars that I own, should be given to my son, John Carlson, on his 18th birthday which falls on 1/15/2013.
  • DVD Collection: To my best friend Connor Williams, I leave my entire DVD collection, that he is so fond of.
  • Any unaccounted for property, should be first presented before my wife, and then disposed or donated at her discretion.
In the case that my wife does not survive me, I appoint Connor Williams, as the legal guardian for my son John Carlson. All financial and other matters pertaining to John will be handled by Connor until John is of legal age.

I hereby sign this will on 9/27/2010.

We, the undersigned, hereby declare, that James Carlson has signed this, his last will and testament, in our presence, and we, in his presence, while being of sound mind.

Witness 1:_________
(Name)
(Address)

Witness 2:________
(Name)
(Address)

So, there you have it. Step by step instructions on how to write a will, sample given with it, for better understanding. It would be advisable to get your rough draft verified by an attorney before you finalize it.