Writing a Will Yourself is Legal, Learn How To Do It Correctly.
How do I write a will without a Lawyer?
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Creating Wills Can Be Witnessed Or Notarized To Be Valid in California.
Many people assume you need a lawyer to create a will. While a lawyer can be beneficial, you can make a will yourself. Accordingly, understanding your state’s specific requirements and ensuring your will fulfills them. Moreover, it’s also possible to write a will that is acceptable in every state so that you avoid any potential problems.
Here are the steps to do so:
1. Create the basic document outline: You can create your will either as a printed computer document or handwrite it. Either way, it must be on regular paper and written in ink. Number the pages of the document (1 of 3, 2 of 3, 3 of 3, etc.) so that it is clear how many pages there are.
2. Include the necessary language: Title the document “Last Will and Testament,” then state that you declare this is “the last will of (your name).” Notwithstanding, state that you are of sound mind. List your complete address and date of birth to avoid confusion about your identity. State that you revoke any prior wills created before this document.
Print your name, complete address, and date at the bottom of the will. Include a line for your signature and three additional spaces for each of the three witnesses’ names, addresses, dates, and signatures.
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3. List immediate relatives: If you are married or have alive children, list the names of your spouse and children and your marriage date.
4. Name a guardian: If you have minors, you can name a guardian to care for them after your death. Ordinarily, use language such as “I name John Doe as guardian for the person and property of my minor children.” Choose at least one alternate guardian if your first choice cannot take on the responsibility.
5. Choose an executor: An executor is a person who will handle the business of probating your will and distributing your property. You can use language such as “I name Jane Doe as my will and property executor.” Moreover, choose an alternate executor in case your first choice is unavailable.
6. Name beneficiaries: List any specific property or dollar amounts you want to leave to particular people. Be sure to list the beneficiaries’ complete names and relationships and adequately describe the items. For example: “To my daughter Sara Jones, I leave my diamond wedding rings, my blue and red Oriental rug, and my dining room furniture.” If you’re leaving the real property, list the property’s address. If you’re bequeathing a car, list the make, model, and year.
7. Allocate estate residue: Once you have listed the items you want to leave to people specifically, list to whom you leave the residue, or remainder, of your estate. This includes everything you own at the time of your death that you didn’t already specifically list.
List all your assets in your will. This includes your:
Physical property — like your home, vehicles, and family heirlooms
Financial assets — like your bank, investment, and retirement accounts
8. Choose who will get each of your assets.
If you want to leave assets to a nonprofit, it’s helpful to include their EIN to make them easier to identify. It’s also good to name secondary beneficiaries for all of your property if you outlive your primary.
9. Sign the will: Sign the will in front of three witnesses who are neither included in your will nor natural heirs (people who would inherit from you if you died without a will). Ask the witnesses to fill in their names and addresses and sign the document in ink.
10. Store the will someplace safe: Now that your will is complete, let your heirs and executor know you have created a will and where you are keeping it so that they can access it after your death. Conversely, find a credible Estate Planning Attorney to Store your will. This ensures that it will be found when that dreaded day occurs.