Can we all agree that we’ve become more aware of our health? The global pandemic happened so fast. All of a sudden, we’re all locked up in our houses and wearing face masks when we need to go out. We started unprepared but now we know better.
As much as we don’t want to think about it, something disastrous could happen to you. In a blink of an eye, accidents and illnesses can occur. It isn’t the most pleasant thing to hear, but it’s true. That’s why the best move you can do is to prepare for it.
As a single parent, it’s painful to imagine what will happen to your kids when you pass. This is why making a last will is a must. Make sure that everything can go according to your plan once you’re gone.
It’s one of the most important documents an individual should have, yet we keep putting it off. A huge reason is people are in denial. They don’t want to face the fact that they won’t be here forever. This is precisely why the first step is acknowledging the inevitable and then planning for it. So if it has already crossed your mind, then it’s time to stop postponing and start writing!
Making a will is critical and beneficial. Here, we’ve put together a quick guide that will help you throughout the whole process of creating a will. So do it for you, do it for your loved ones.
What Is a Last Will and Testament?
It is a legal document explaining what you want to provide to those you leave behind, including the property, money, and assets you have when you are still alive. Then, you can choose, if you wish, to donate it or leave it to your loved one, a group, or someone else. To make it simple, this allows you to control the distribution of your estates when you’re gone.
A will also contains who will execute your wishes for you. It provides you the opportunity to choose who’s in charge of making things happen. For example, you can choose your lawyer, best friend, or family member. It’s all up to you, but make sure you select someone responsible whom you can trust.
As a single parent, the most crucial part here is controlling where your dependents would go. This means you’ll get to choose who will be the guardian of your kids when you leave them behind. As their parents, it should be you who knows and wishes the best for them. It will put you at ease knowing that you’ll leave your minor children with someone you prefer.
Why You Should Have One
If you still can’t see the importance of having a will, how about we tell you what would happen if you don’t have one. When you die without writing a will, it’s known as dying intestate. In cases like this, the government will be the one to handle your properties. The state will become your executor.
The government will be the one to figure out how to deal with your estates. Through the process of probate, the court will identify your heirs. They will also assign who will pay your final bills and taxes. The distribution of your properties will have a burdensome and lengthier process.
The court will have the power to choose who will take your kids when you’re gone, even if it’s someone you don’t like. Usually, they award custody to the surviving parent. The next choice would be a grandparent or any family member. A family friend can petition, but if there’s no one left, your kids will stay in the foster care facility.
These are critical choices that could change the lives of people you leave behind. It could even be a make or break for your kids. But, can you imagine leaving these huge decisions to the state? A stranger to you and your family might be the one to handle the decisions for them.
Your last will and testament will become the foundation once you’re gone. This way, you can control the properties, assets, and money that you’ll leave behind. You’ll even get to assign someone you know who will take care of minor children. You can settle these things in the manner you desire.
What to Include
We hope you’re convinced now that a will is critical for all individuals. If you’re still having second thoughts because you’re not sure how to make one then, we got you. The inclusions of a will aren’t that complicated. Let us help you with the things included in a will.
The chosen executor is a person who will be in charge of following your will the way you want it. In your will, you can include your chosen executor. This can be your lawyer, close friend, family member, or adult child.
When choosing one, make sure to go with someone responsible and trustworthy. That person will be the one to carry out the instructions of your will. It is a big honor but also an enormous responsibility. So make sure you choose the perfect person for this crucial task.
As a parent, the biggest motivator for creating a will is appointing a guardian for your kids. Being a single parent means it’s especially critical to make one. Right now, you’re the person they can depend on. But what if you’re gone?
This is why a guardian for your kids is another thing to include in your last will. As someone who knows the best for them, you can choose the person you think is perfect for the role. In choosing one, make sure they’re responsible and trustworthy. This person will become someone your kids will depend on when you’re not present anymore.
Another component of a will is your assets. These are your personal belongings, heirlooms, money, or bank accounts. To make it simple, the assets in your will must include the things you want to give away and to whom you will give it.
As parents, the first thing that comes to mind is giving everything to our children. But in case your children are still minors, they would need to wait until legal age for them to have this. If you’re not planning to give it to your kids, you can also give it to other family members. You also have the choice to donate it to a charity of your choice if you want to.
Real property refers to any house, structure, or building that you own when you pass. Unlike your small everyday things, it isn’t as easy to hand over to anyone. This property is one of the hardest and time-consuming things to transfer. But as long as you have everything laid out, it’s not impossible to do.
People you leave your property to will have a lot of paperwork to process. But the good thing is, you have a will. This means that the process they’ll do will go smoothly and easy, unlike if you don’t have one. And remember, if you have housing loans, make sure that your insurance can cover them for you.
When you die, your debts will not go away. Let’s say when you get a loan from a Singapore-licensed cash mart lender like the Clementi money lender, you will be sure they will follow the law. Your life insurance can pay this. But if you have debts from a loan shark, they will make your family’s life too complicated. Your unpaid debts should be covered by your estate, not personally by your family. So make sure you make this clear in your will as well.
What Comes Next
Congratulations. Now you’re done writing the contents of your will. It’s time to get moving. You could say that writing the will is only the beginning of making a last will and testament. It’s time to move to the aftermath.
If you’re confused and you don’t know what else you have to do after this, we got you covered. We compiled the steps that you need to take and remember after writing a will.
Sign and Witness
After completing your will, you must review everything again. Make sure that it’s free from error because this can cause problems later on. Once you’ve verified that your written will is accurate, you can sign the document. Remember to follow the laws of your state when it comes to a last will and testament for it to become valid.
To consider it valid, the person must be mentally stable and capable of signing a will. Upon signing it, some jurisdiction needs two individuals to witness for you. They should be above the age of 18 and unrelated individuals. The witnesses will serve as confirmation of your identity and mental capacity.
Put It in a Safe Place
It’s essential to store your will somewhere safe and sound. The people you trust this information with should be able to know how to access it. What good can your will do if people can’t find it, right? You can entrust this information to your lawyer, executor, or kids where they can see this.
If you store it in a deposit box in a bank that only you can access, people might have a hard time getting it when you’re gone. They would need to seek a court order to gain access to your safe. The best and most common choice is keeping it in a fireproof safe in your house. Where you keep, your last will is entirely your choice.
In case the original gets destroyed, it’s better to have copies of your will. Give it to someone you trust, someone like your attorney or executor. The signed copies can show your intentions, but the original is still the valid one. The absence of the original will can complicate matters, so make sure it’s safe.
Finally, you’re finished with everything. This may be the first and last time you’ll write your will. This final step we have for you will happen after a few more years when you decide to change anything. Life is constant when it comes to changes, major life events can happen, and you might want to update your will.
It’s best to update it every three to five years or when these major life events happen. If you plan to update it every few years, the latest version of your will is the valid one. If you don’t plan on changing it anymore, that’s fine. The important thing is that you now have a will in case something happens.