A will is usually seen as a document that is used to designate who will inherit property. However, the will can serve several other purposes. To make sure that your will is complete, you should talk to a wills lawyer about provisions you should include in your will.
Your will can specifically state who will be entitled to each piece of property after you pass away. Your will can also determine what will happen to your property if one of your beneficiaries passes away. You may choose to have the property split up among the remaining heirs or you may choose to have the property passed on to the grandchildren of the deceased beneficiary. You should speak to a lawyer about the pros and cons of each option.
The Survival Clause
If you are married, you might want to include a survival clause. This will take into consideration situations where your spouse passes away and you pass away shortly afterward. Without a survival clause, the estate of you and your spouse might each go through separate probate. However, a wills lawyer can help you avoid this with a survival clause.
A will usually includes an executor who is responsible for fulfilling the terms of the will. However, your wills lawyer will likely advise you to also name a backup executor in the event that the executor is not able to perform the task. It's also important to make sure that the executor you select has the legal knowledge to be able to serve as an effective executor.
Your will should include a provision for your children if they are minors. You will need to clarify who will have guardianship of your children. You should also update your will whenever you believe that someone else would be more suitable in the guardianship role.
Revisions to Your Will
Each time you write a new will, make sure to clearly state that you are revoking all previous wills. This allows you to avoid any conflicts when a current will contradicts a previously existing will.
Make sure to specifically list in your will any property that you would like to go to specific heirs. But you will inevitably have some property that isn't listed in your will. To determine what happens to those pieces of property, your wills lawyer will encourage you to have a residuary clause so that everything else is evenly distributed.
For more information, contact a wills lawyer in your area.