Will Writing 101 - 10 things to do before you write your will – Part 2

Will Writing 101 - 10 things to do before you write your will – Part 2

Will Writing 101 – 10 things to do before you write your will – Part 2

by | Will Basics 101

Writing your will requires some preparation.  In part 1 of this blog, we covered preparation for your assets and beneficiaries.  Now you need to consider the people who will act on your behalf after your death.

Who do I trust?

In most legal jurisdictions, you will need to appoint a personal administrator, representative or executor.  This person will be responsible for carrying out your final wishes and all the associated paperwork.  It is a tough and thankless task that takes time and organisation.  Do you have a family member or peer that will be able to do this for you?  People are often more motivated if they are a recipient of your estate……  Alternatively, you can ask for a professional to be paid from the estate.

If a trust is created in your will, you will also need to nominate trustees.  These decision makers will often have considerable power over your wealth and its distribution – a huge responsibility.  Who do you trust to manage your money after you are gone?

Discussing any of the roles people are granted in your will with your will drafter may help you make these decisions.   Consider peoples skills, location, time available, age and commitment before asking them to rise to a difficult occasion.  And don’t forget to ask them!

 

Guardianship

If considering who should manage your estate is difficult, the question of who should raise your children in the event of you die prematurely is a hard and emotive question to answer.  While no one would ever want to have to ask someone else to raise their children, it is an issue that must be addressed.  Especially if you are living abroad and away from family and other support networks or in a country with no state provision to assist.

You need to consider many factors in this decision, for example:

  • Where are the guardians living? Will your children have to relocate if your die unexpectedly?
  • What are the ages of the guardians? Are they young enough to raise your children to adulthood?
  • Do your guardians share your values, religion, lifestyle and morals?
  • Who do your children have a bond with?
  • Can your nominated guardians afford to raise your children?

Who is left holding the baby?

Funeral wishes

Where and how you want to be buried is a very personal choice.  For some of us it is governed by religion or tradition.  For others, they have no wishes at all.

You can be proactive about funeral wishes.  There are many insurance and pre-purchased plans that allow you to dictate your funeral in advance.  This can relive the burden on loved ones at a difficult time.  It also picks up the bill and speeds process if your estate is complex, international or disputed.

If you wish to leave your body to science or be an organ donor, in most countries you must be proactive and do this in life.  Check my other blogs for more detail:

Donating your body to science?

Charitable bequests

Often in life, we have been touched by the death of a loved one who has received assistance from a charity in their passing.  This may have been in assisted living, treatment or palliative care.  Often this prompts people to ‘give back’ by donating to a charity that aided a dignified passing.

If you wish to leave a charitable legacy in your will, the terms of this will be dictated by the law of the country under which your will is written.  Your will drafter can assist you in making sure this legacy is gifted.

 

Power of Attorney

As you are writing your will, now is also a good time to consider powers of attorney.  It can be useful acting now to allow others to make decisions on your behalf when you can’t.

If you have international property or widely distributed wealth, it may be a useful management tool to enact financial powers of attorney now.

Putting in place health powers of attorney for decisions about medical treatment and health care if you become incapacitated will be dictated by where you are living.

Both of these issues can be discussed with your will writer in tandem with the creation of your will.

Lasting Power of Attorney

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

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

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