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Making a Will? Five Things That Many People Forget

Most people understand how to create a last will and testament. They know that they have to give their possessions to friends, family members or to a good cause and they take steps to draw up this document in a timely fashion. However, it's not quite as simple as that, especially if you want to avoid any confusion after you pass away. Why should you include some additional paragraphs, to make sure that nothing is left to chance in your will?

1. Alternate Beneficiaries

You may have considered your assets one by one and allocated each of them to an individual or organisation following your death. After the executor has done their work, then each beneficiary will receive the specific property, so long as they are still around, of course. If you made your will a long time ago, then one or more of the beneficiaries may have predeceased you or the charity in question may have folded. It's always a good idea to name an alternate beneficiary for each item.

2. Residuary Details

Furthermore, it is almost impossible to account for every single item in your possession, especially as you may accumulate more in between the date that you created the document and your passing. In this case, include a paragraph that tells people what to do with your remaining personal assets. This is called the "residuary" estate and can frequently include a large number of items.

3. Covering Costs

It's also a good idea to be very clear about your outstanding expenditure, debts and taxes and how they are to be settled. These may include probate and funeral costs, inheritance taxes and estate dues. It's a good idea to maintain a separate bank account just to cover these costs.

4. Debt Clearance

If you have any outstanding, long-term debtors then you might like to consider clearing their responsibility when you pass away. Otherwise, you may be passing on this headache to your survivors and this is probably not something that they want to deal with.

5. Pet Care

Finally, don't forget your four-legged friends. You need to be sure that they are well cared for and that somebody is able to give them a good home. Of course, you should talk with this individual before you finalise the will and make sure that you have some money set aside to cover this ongoing expense.

Bringing It All Together

Hopefully, these additional paragraphs will enable you to create a meaningful and trouble-free will. This will help your survivors cope with the harrowing days following your demise.