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How Do I Make a Will?

By Jason Bottlinger on November 8, 2017

The first step you should take toward making a will?

Contact a Nebraska estate planning lawyer with experience in writing wills.

You need to make some decisions, such as choosing your beneficiaries, deciding on a personal representative (also known as an executor), deciding who should be guardian of your minor children, and choosing who gets what after you die.

Your lawyer can work with you to make sure all of this information is included, and get the signatures you need to make it official. It’s a delicate process, and you should really get a professional once-over before considering your family’s future “in the clear.”

Hire a Lawyer, or Do-It-Yourself?

While there are plenty of online resources and kits you can use to make a will, you should speak to a real live lawyer. Many people try to “do it themselves” because they think they don’t have much in the way of property, but it is very easy to make costly mistakes. Wills with errors are more easily overturned.

Beneficiaries, Executor, and Who Gets What?

As you create your will, you’re deciding who your beneficiaries are – that is, who will get your assets after you die. Your will should also indicate the personal representative (sometimes referred to as an executor) who carries out your instructions once you die. (You can choose to compensate the executor if you wish.) You also need to decide what each of your beneficiaries receives, and this should be spelled out in clear, precise detail to avoid issues later on.

Choose a Guardian for Your Children

If you have children under the age of 19, then you should indicate who their guardian will be if you die. If you do not do this, then the state or a judge will decide for you. It is better to stipulate this yourself and make sure your children are properly cared for in the event that you can no longer care for them.

Signatures and Safekeeping

Once everything is written out, certain signatures are required to make the document legally binding. (This is important in case someone tries to contest the will.) Make sure you store the will in a safe place, and that your personal representative or executor knows what is expected when the time comes. Obviously, having it on file with your attorney is the most secure option.

Finishing Touches

After you finish your will, you might consider adding notes or letters if there is anything you want said to your loved ones after your death. You should also revisit your will and see if it needs to be revised at least every couple of years after writing it. You can add more assets, if necessary, or change beneficiaries or fiduciaries. If you are interested in making a will, call us at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. at (402) 505-8234 today. Your consultation is free, and we will give you advice for moving forward with your estate plan.

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