4 things you need to put in your will

No one likes to think about what will happen after he or she passes away, but the fact is that you need to plan for the eventuality of death. If not, your loved ones may find themselves caught unexpectedly grieving amid a rising tide of responsibilities.

When they are handled properly, a will not only helps ensure that your final wishes regarding the disposal of your estate are followed, it also streamlines the process for your loved ones, allowing them to focus on the natural grieving process instead of wondering about what they need to do next.

Understanding which elements should go in a will can be difficult for many people who are attempting to create one for the first time. Here are the four things you need to make sure you put in your will if you want it to cover all the bases.

1. The name of your executor

First and foremost, you need to pick someone who will be in charge of overseeing the processing of your estate, the payment of your final debts and managing the day-to-day tasks involved in distributing your assets. That means naming an executor. According to U.S. News & World Report, it is a good idea to choose a neutral party and not a family member, in the interests of family harmony.

2. The distribution of your assets and the names of beneficiaries

You need to name each person who will receive assets and other belongings. You will also need to explain, in detail, exactly which assets or belongings go to them. For most people, this is the bulk of the will. As your wealth and accumulated assets change, it is also the section you will amend the most.

3. The names of guardians of any minor children

While this is not vital for everyone, it is vital for everyone with children who have yet to leave the house. Naming guardians for your minor children ensures that they go where they will be loved, and having a plan is the key to making sure you are in control and able to make the right choices.

4. Directives relating to digital accounts

While this is a relatively new item, the large portion of life that is now lived, or at least documented, online is huge. To make sure that your extended contacts are notified in a dignified manner and your privacy is protected, you need to make sure you have a plan in your will for social media and other digital accounts.

You must make many other decisions, such as whether or not to pay your executor, but these four represent the vital core of your will's necessary provisions. From here, talking to an attorney can help you determine what else you need to take care of.

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