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The key people to include in your last will and testament

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Estate Planning |

To ensure that your property will go to your desired recipients after your passing, it is crucial to have a valid last will and testament. A will is a legally binding document that specifies how you want to distribute your assets at the time of your demise.

In New York, adults who are at least 18 years old can create a will if they are of sound mind. They can start drafting their will by writing down all their property. Then, they must decide on how to distribute each asset. If you are thinking about becoming a testator, who are the important people that you should include in your will?

Assigning an executor

A will requires the testator to name a dependable and trustworthy executor. They will be responsible for ensuring the fulfillment of your post-death wishes regarding the distribution of your property. In addition, it is advisable to include an alternate executor in case something untoward happens to your executor.

Naming beneficiaries

Moreover, it is vital to mention all your beneficiaries. They could be family members, loved ones, friends or anyone from whom you want to receive some or all of your property. Also, you can name charitable organizations as beneficiaries.

Appointing a guardian

Testators with minor children can also name a reliable guardian for their kids. Doing this can ensure that their children will continue to receive support and guidance from their guardians.

Choosing two witnesses

When you have specified all your wishes in a will, you need to sign and date it as the testator. Additionally, two witnesses must sign and date your will for it to be valid. The witnesses, who should be aged 18 and above, must not be among the beneficiaries in your will.

It is best if the will is executed and witnessed under the supervision of an attorney experienced in such matters.  If a will is not properly executed it can be invalid and subject to a will contest.

Preparing for the unknown

There is no guarantee of how long one’s life will last. With a will, you may prepare for the unknown by making sure that your loved ones will receive your support even after your passing.