A Will is a legal document unique to each individual. However, there are a number of things all standard Wills include:
One of the most essential things your Will includes is a break down of how you want your assets distributed (as in, who gets what.)
This doesn’t include just your bank accounts and any properties you own, but also things like cars, furniture, jewelry, art, and any other meaningful items (like a special set of dishes or mementos).
If you’re a parent, you need to choose who you want to take care of your children if you pass away before they become adults. This person is called a guardian. Sometimes, people choose more than one person, such as a couple.
You should be very careful when choosing your guardian. It should be someone you really trust. Make sure to let your guardians know who they are—guardianship should never come as a shock since it’s such a huge responsibility. Always talk to your guardian(s) to make sure that they are willing and able to take on the role if they need to.
As mentioned before, one of the most important parts of any Will is naming an executor to carry out your last wishes. Your executor will be in charge of sorting out your finances, paying your debts, and distributing your estate the way you outlined in your Will.
Your executor can even be in charge of taking care of your digital accounts. For example, if you want to turn your Facebook account into a memorial page, your executor will be the one to help you with that.
As with guardians, your executor should not learn about their role after you pass away. When you draft your Will, make sure they are okay with taking on the responsibility of being your executor to avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road.
If you want to give specific items to specific people, you need to include them in your Will. People often use Wills to gift their loved ones with expensive things, such as cars or jewelry. But you can also choose to give items of sentimental value, like photo albums, childhood toys, or family heirlooms.