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Making a will is an excellent way to ensure that your plans for leaving property to family, friends and organizations of your choice are carried out after you die. You can efficiently and safely write your own legal will using WillMaker. But before you start, it is a good idea to read this article as
You can efficiently and safely write your own legal will using WillMaker. The program will help you draft a will that reflects your wishes, but it is your responsibility to meet a few legal requirements. Requirements of You For a will to be legally valid, both you—the person making the will—and
WillMaker provides a basic will that works for many people. It is private, easy to make, and low-cost. But it isn’t for everyone. Our will might not be right for you if you have: complicated property (for example, a shared business) difficult family relationships (for example, you’re worried that
When you make WillMaker's will, you get help every step of the way. On-Screen Help in the Interview If you need help answering a specific question during the will interview, look to the "Helpful Information" located at the bottom of the screen or to the right of the screen, depending on which version
Gathering some information before you start your WillMaker will can make the process easier. This worksheet lists everything you will need to make your will. Some of this information—for example, who will manage any property you leave to young people or whether you want to set aside funds to pay debts
Congratulations on getting started on your will--it's easy with WillMaker. We'll ask you a series of simple questions and design a will for you based on your answers. You should be able to finish your will in less than an hour, without hiring a lawyer. You'll have help and guidance every step of the
Here is a quick survey of what you can and cannot do with the WillMaker Will. Each topic is discussed in greater detail in the on-screen help as you make your will. (And here is some information about What WillMaker's Will Cannot Do.) Tailor Your Will to Your Needs WillMaker provides you with unique
WillMaker allows you to produce a valid and effective will designed to meet most needs. But there are some restrictions built into the program. Some of the restrictions are designed to prevent you from writing in conditions that may not be legally valid. Others are intended to keep the program simple
After you have proceeded through all of WillMaker's will screens and responded to all the questions the program poses, your will is nearly finished. There are just a few more steps you must take to make it legally effective so that the directions you expressed in it can be carried out after your death.
For a will to be accepted by a probate court, the executor must show that the document really is the will of the person it purports to be -- a process called proving the will. In the past, all wills were proved either by having one or two witnesses come into court to testify or swear in written, notarized
Life wreaks havoc on even the best-laid plans, and changes in your life affect what you include in your will and what laws will be applied to enforce it. You may sell one house and buy another. You may divorce. You may have or adopt children. Eventually, you will face the grief of losing a loved one.
When making a WillMaker will, you are asked to specify your county and your state. Entering Your County Including your county in your will is optional but recommended. Including it will help others identify you and track down your property after your death. Also, a county name may provide those handling
To start your will with WillMaker, you’ll enter your name and indicate your gender. This might seem straightforward, but it’s not clear in every situation. Here’s a little more information that should answer any questions. Your Name Your name is needed here to identify you and all the property
When making your will with WillMaker, you may have some questions about how to choose your marital status. Here is some information that might help you make your decision. Legal Marriages To be legally married in most states, you must take part in a ceremony with a legal or religious official and then
You can use the WillMaker will to leave your pet to someone you trust. You can also leave money to that person to help with the costs of owning your pet, although your will cannot force the new owner to use the money that way. If you want the new owner to be legally bound to use the money for the care
Among the most pressing concerns of parents with minor children is who will care for the children if one or both of them die before the children reach adulthood. Although contemplating the possibility of your early death can be wrenching, it is important to face up to it and adopt the best contingency
When making the WillMaker will, you are asked to specify whether you have children and if you do, the program asks you to provide their names and birthdates. This information is important to include in your will because most states have laws that protect children from accidentally being left out of a
WillMaker gives you the option to include a brief statement in your will that explains your choice for personal guardian. Leaving a written explanation of why you made a particular choice for a personal guardian may be a good idea if you think a judge may have reason to question your decision, or if
Becoming a parent is what may have motivated you to buckle down to the task of writing your will in the first place. If you are the parent of young children, your will is the perfect place to address some driving concerns you are likely to have if you die before they are grown. These concerns include:
WillMaker asks you to name all of your grandchildren. Here is some information about why it’s important to name your children’s children in your will. Unnamed Grandchildren Might Claim a Share It is important to list all your living grandchildren born or adopted into the family because grandchildren
Before you make your will, consider what you own, how you own it, and what legal rules affect how you can leave it. Though, you may not need to do this if you plan to leave your property in a lump—that is, without giving specific items of property to specific people—it makes little difference what
The first part of making a specific bequest in your WillMaker is to describe the property you want to pass to the beneficiary or beneficiaries you have in mind. When describing an item, be as concise as you can, but use enough detail so that people will be able to identify and find the property. For
When you make your will with WillMaker, one of the key decisions you make will be how to leave your property. In this part of the interview, you specify who gets what after your death. As a single person, your beneficiaries will probably be your loved ones or friends. You can divide your property as
The heart of will making is deciding who gets your property when you die. For many, this is an easy task: You want it all to go to your spouse or partner, your kids or your favorite charity. For others, it’s a little more complicated—for example, you want most of your property to go to your spouse,
When you’re making your will with WillMaker, you may wonder whether you can leave your digital assets through your will. The answer is: it depends. "Digital assets" is a broad term that includes a range of electronic records -- from social media accounts to digital photos, to email, to online financial
When making your will with WillMaker, you may want to take a quick inventory of the property you own. This is particularly useful if you plan to give specific items to different people. In that case, making a list can help trigger your memory about what you own to make sure you don't leave anything out.
As you’re making your WillMaker will, if you leave a gift to more than one person, the program will ask whether you want the beneficiaries to share the gift equally or unequally. If you want to divide it equally, you’re done with that gift. If you want them to share it unequally, you will need to
When you make your will with WillMaker, one of the key decisions you make will be how to leave your property. In this part of the interview, you specify who gets what after your death. As an unmarried parent, your child may figure prominently in your plans for distributing your property after your death.
When you make your will with WillMaker, one of the key decisions you make will be how to leave your property. In this part of the interview, you specify who gets what after your death. If you want to leave everything to your spouse, this job will be exceedingly simple. It will take a bit more effort
When making your will with Quicken WillMaker, it will be useful to understand how you and your spouse own property together. That is, you may want to understand what you own, what does your spouse own, and what you own together. Or you may have a more specific question, like If both spouses are on the
When you make your will with WillMaker, one of the key decisions you make will be how to leave your property. In this part of the interview, you specify who gets what after your death. As an unmarried parent, your children may figure prominently in your plans for distributing your property after your
If you intend to leave your spouse or registered domestic partner very little or no property, you may run into some legal roadblocks. All common law property states protect a surviving spouse or partner from being completely disinherited—and most assure that a spouse has the right to receive a substantial
When you choose to leave your entire estate to one or more beneficiaries, WillMaker next asks you to name those beneficiaries. Here is some information about making that choice. What Your Main Beneficiary Receives The beneficiary or beneficiaries you name to receive your “entire estate” will get
If you leave your child or children most of your property, your next task will be to decide who should get that property in the worst-case scenario -- if your children die before you do. The will you create with WillMaker provides that a beneficiary must survive you by 45 days to receive property through
When you’re making your will with WillMaker, if you specify that one or more beneficiaries should receive all or most of your property, your next task will be to decide who would get that property if any of your first-choice beneficiaries were to die before you do. The WillMaker will provides that
When you make your will with WillMaker, and you choose to leave your spouse or domestic partner all or most of your property, your next task will be to choose an alternate or alternates for your spouse or partner. The Survivorship Requirement Your will provides that all beneficiaries—including your
If you want your spouse or registered domestic partner to receive all or most of your property, WillMaker then asks you to name an alternate for your spouse or partner. The will you create with WillMaker provides that all beneficiaries—including your spouse—must survive you by 45 days to receive
Under some circumstances, it might make sense to name a trust as the beneficiary of your will. When you die, the property you leave will be transferred to the trust, rather than directly to a person or organization. This is generally done for one of two reasons—either you want all of the property that
When you choose to give some specific items to certain people (rather than leaving your estate as a whole), WillMaker asks you to name a beneficiary for your residuary estate. Your residuary beneficiary or beneficiaries will get everything not named as specific bequests. If you name one person or a group
With WillMaker, you can name a trust as a beneficiary of your wi. A trust can be a main beneficiary, alternate beneficiary, or residuary beneficiary. When you name a trust as beneficiary, after you die your executor will transfer the property to the trust rather than directly to a person or organization.
When naming specific beneficiaries for your WillMaker will, follow these general rules: Be consistent. Use exactly the same form each time you enter a person or organization's name. For example, don't use a full name in one answer and a nickname in another. Don't include the person's relationship to
For each minor or young adult to whom you leave property through your WillMaker will, you must decide which management approach to use: the UTMA, a child’s trust, or the pot trust. This article helps you decide which is best. Using the UTMA As a general rule, the less valuable the property involved
When making a will using WillMaker, you’ll have a chance to set up property management for your young children as well as for any other young beneficiaries of your will. Types of Property Managers in the WillMaker Will There are four types of property management you can set up in Nolo’s will, and
Here are some examples of how WillMaker's property management options might be selected. The following scenarios are only intended as suggestions. EXAMPLE 1: Married, adult children age 25 and older. You want to leave all your property, worth $250,000, to your spouse and name surviving children as alternate
The UTMA, child’s trust, and pot trust are good management options for property that minor or young adult beneficiaries receive under your will. However, if you have minor children and they receive property of significant value outside of your will, a court will usually have to step in and appoint
WillMaker offers three approaches to property management for property that passes to minors under your will: the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act, an option in all states except South Carolina the child’s trust, an alternative to the UTMA, and the pot trust, an option if you have two or more children
When you make your will with WillMaker, you will have a chance to set up property management for any young beneficiaries who might receive property under your will. If you choose to set up property management, you will name trusted adults to look after the property on behalf of the beneficiaries until
After you have decided who will get your property, WillMaker asks you whether you want to create property management for young beneficiaries. First, consider whether any of your beneficiaries need someone to manage the property for them. For example, think about each beneficiary's: age maturity relationship
When you make a will with WillMaker, you can set up property management for young beneficiaries who cannot or should not receive the property outright until they are older. One of your options for property management is to create a child’s trust for your minor beneficiaries. A child's trust is a legal
If you’ve left everything–-or nearly everything--to your children in a pot trust, do not set up a child’s trust or UTMA for your children. If you've set up a pot trust, the terms of the pot trust apply to all of the property your children will receive under your will. No other property management
The Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) allows you to name a custodian to manage property you leave to a minor. The management ends when the minor reaches age 18 to 30, depending on state law. The UTMA is a model law proposed by a group of legal scholars—and states are free to adopt it into their
When making your will with WillMaker, you can use a pot trust if you: have more than two children one of your children is under age 25, and you leave your entire estate to your children. The pot provided in the WillMaker will is a legal structure that will take effect if any of your children are under
Glancing through the list of the executor’s duties should tip you off about who might be the best person for the job. The prime characteristics are honesty, skill at organizing, and finesse in keeping track of details. For many tasks, such as collecting mail and finding important records and papers,
As you’re making your WillMaker will, you may have questions about your executor’s ability to access your digital assets. To begin, you might read up on What Are Digital Assets. There is no question that having access to your digital assets will help your executor wrap up your estate However, your
When you make a will with WillMaker, you should name an executor to wrap up your estate. After your death, that person will have legal responsibility for safeguarding and handling your property, seeing that debts and taxes are paid, and distributing what is left to your beneficiaries as your will directs.
While you cannot provide your Social Security number (SSN) in your WillMaker will, you should find another way to provide this information to your executor securely. Why Provide Your Social Security Number There are good reasons to provide your Social Security number in the letter to your executor.
When working on your will with WillMaker will, you may find that you want to explain certain things to your loved ones. For example, you may want to let them know why you left a large gift to charity, why you named your sister (and not your brother) to look after your child’s finances, or where you
People often want to leave instructions in their wills that particular debts will be canceled when they die. Their reasoning: It feels good. This type of forgiveness is similar to giving a gift of money. Those who owed the debt will no longer be legally required to repay it. You can use your WillMaker