Will Writing 101 - 10 things to do before you write your will – Part 1

Will Writing 101 - 10 things to do before you write your will – Part 1

Will Writing 101 – 10 things to do before you write your will – Part 1

by | Will Basics 101

Writing your will requires some preparation.  A lot of it is administrative.  But here are also difficult decisions to be made and hard questions to answer as well as considerable detail to be sourced.  You will also have to talk to your loved ones about the future which may be tough.  It will help your will writer if you have addressed some or all the following, relevant points before you meet.

What is your legacy?

You will need to know your assets and their location.  Make a list, put them in to categories such as pensions, bank accounts, property, personal items, etc.  Make a note if they are jointly owned, such as a house or land.  If you are party to a trust, you will need this detail too.

If possible, estimate the value of the items.  If you live in or come from a country with an estate or death tax, this will be useful for your will drafter in assessing your tax liability on death.

This list will not only be very useful for the drafting of your will, but also for the person or persons who have to administer your estate when you die so it pays to be detailed.

 

Keepsakes and special gifts

As well as the large valuable items, your will is a good place to gift family heirlooms and cherished items such as jewellery.  It is traditional for mothers to leave engagement and wedding rings to daughters in this way.  If you have an item with emotional significance that you wish to gift, detail this for your will drafter.

 

Do you have any debt?

If you have any money owing, this will be called in on your death.  Therefore, you need to detail any loans, mortgages or other debt.  How do you want this to be paid?  From your estate or do you have insurance policies in place to foot the bill?  This detail should also be included in your will.

 

Who can you leave your legacy too?

For some people, choosing beneficiaries is simple.   For others, it can be a very complex situation.  Maybe you have remarried and have children in 2 countries.  Maybe you have few living relatives.  Or maybe you have successful children who have no need of a legacy and want to benefit others.

Whatever your circumstance or wealth, who receives your legacy is up to you and the laws of the country governing your will.  Are you a national of a country with forced succession?  Or do you have testamentary freedom to do as you wish?  You will writer will need to know your history and personal circumstance.

 

Choosing beneficiaries

Once you have established who you can leave a legacy too, you need to name the beneficiaries.  You also have to ensure that after your long and happy life your estate administrators can find the beneficiaries.

Detailed contact information for anyone named in your will is required – including you!  Give as much detail as possible.  Include their relationship to you, date of birth, other known aliases, current address and telephone numbers as well current passport or national ID card numbers.

This contact list will also be useful for your estate administrators when you die.

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"For various reasons, my situation turned out to be quite complicated and I needed two wills (as advised by UK...

Jenny Pearson, Consultant, Cambodia

2018-06-05T07:59:04+00:00

Jenny Pearson, Consultant, Cambodia

"For various reasons, my situation turned out to be quite complicated and I needed two wills (as advised by UK tax specialist) to keep my English and Cambodian assets completely separate. Cindy was able to work through all of that with me and I am confident that I now have everything properly covered."
"Cindy is knowledgeable, approachable, incredibly helpful, and highly professional. She helped me to understand the implications of my requests and...

Jayne Hilton, Engineer, UK

2018-06-05T08:30:28+00:00

Jayne Hilton, Engineer, UK

"Cindy is knowledgeable, approachable, incredibly helpful, and highly professional. She helped me to understand the implications of my requests and was always on hand to offer guidance and support. All in all an excellent service."
"It was a pleasure to work with Cindy and her team! Even though planning for one’s own death is a...

Jim Swander, CEO, Cambodia

2018-06-05T08:37:50+00:00

Jim Swander, CEO, Cambodia

"It was a pleasure to work with Cindy and her team! Even though planning for one’s own death is a project we all can easily put off, it removed an area of stress in my life. I no longer had to wonder if certain people would be taken care of, or where my money would go. Cindy and I worked through the process and she asked a lot of thought provoking questions. The first draft helped me think a second layer down, and made the will more complete. We finalised with her lawyer, signed, witnessed and put away in a safe place, letting my executor know exactly where to find it. I do not hesitate to recommend Cindy’s services."
"Cindy made the process of making a Will painless and efficient which we really appreciated. She was sensitive to avoid...

Moray Iles, Vietnam

2018-06-05T08:42:23+00:00

Moray Iles, Vietnam

"Cindy made the process of making a Will painless and efficient which we really appreciated. She was sensitive to avoid putting pressure or hassle to complete the Will quickly which allowed us to consider everything in our own time. Best of all, Cindy's professional support and thorough and clear explanation of the laws pertaining to our situation were very helpful. We would look forward to working with Cindy again on documents personal to our family."
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