5 things everyone should consider while creating a will in Massachusetts

There are several things those creating a will should consider before they put together this legal document so they can successfully plan for the future.

Wills are legal documents that let their creators determine who should receive which of their assets after they pass away. These documents also allow people to name guardians for their children. Without the presence of a will, the court decides what happens to a person’s assets if he or she dies, so it is essential that those in the midst of creating one of these documents carefully consider its facets and implications.

1. Creating a joint or separate will

Since most spouses do not die as the same time as their partner, it is not generally recommended to create a joint will. Even if the two wills end up looking remarkably similar, each person may possess property that is not jointly held. Additionally, separate wills enable spouses to address issues relating to children from another marriage.

2. Choosing a witness

While estate planning, any person can act as a witness to the creation of a will. However, those in the midst of putting together their will should not choose someone who is a beneficiary to be their witness. If this happens, there is the potential that a conflict of interest could occur.

3. Selecting an executor

Any family member, friend or child can act as an executor. However, if the will is particularly complicated, it helps to name an attorney or another professional with financial expertise to fill this role. Those creating their will should remember that they can also name joint executors to account for this need.

4. Leaving items to heirs

Those who want to leave specific property to a specific heir should note this stipulation in their will. To go along with the will, a letter of instruction can be included to go into greater detail about which items should go to whom in more of an informal manner. Or, personal items can be left to one trusted person who can take on the responsibility of distributing them to the right people.

5. Choosing a place for the will

After creating a will, the document should be kept in a safe yet accessible place. For instance, those who keep their will in a bank safety deposit box may not be able to give their family members access to this location in the event of their death. A good alternative to this would be a fireproof home safe.

Putting together a will is often a complex process that many people in Massachusetts struggle with. Those who wish to create a will to help them plan for the future successfully should contact an attorney in their area for legal guidance.