Preparing for your death is something that every responsible adult should do. Part of the preparations process is knowing how to make a will. If you die without a will, the state will distribute your properly according to state laws. By making your own will, you can protect your family members and eliminate the stress and worry of those who are left behind.
- Determine what type of will you need. Consult an attorney to determine if you will need a simple will or a living trust. Be aware that a living trust is more difficult to write so you may wish to hire an estate attorney if you require one.
- Choose will-making software to help you with the process. This makes it easier to write a will and make sure that all legal obligations are filled.
- Organize all of your personal documents, including bank statements, property titles and items of large value. Create an inventory of your assets and a list of outstanding debts. Create a plan that will pay off your outstanding debts with your assets when you die. After all debts are paid, you can give the remainder of your assets to family members, friends or charity.
- Designate a guardian if you have children who are younger than 18. Even if you have a spouse, you will need to list a guardian in case something happens to both of you.
- Name an estate executor who will oversee the distribution of your belongings and assets. Choose someone that you trust or select an attorney.
- Add a living will to the document, letting your family know what to do in case you become terminally ill. Such a document can be appreciated by family members who are uncertain what you would want them to do about your care.
- Print out a copy of your will, sign it, have a witness sign it and put it in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box. You can also print out a copy and seal it in an envelope for the executor of your estate.