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Where to start when drafting a will

So you got out a pen and a piece of paper, and you sat down in your office, planning to start drafting your will. Then, though you had all of the good intentions in the world, you just sat there, unsure where to begin.

Sound familiar? Many people struggle to get started on a will, even if they know how important it is and they want to write it. It's so important that they are just unsure where to begin.

First off, remember that writing the will is actually secondary to making some critical decisions. The will is just your way of writing those decisions down so that others can refer to the document after you pass away. One good way to begin can be by taking those decisions on one by one and working through them. To do so, ask yourself these questions:

1. Who do you want to be the executor for your will? Pick someone trustworthy and responsible. It's also often wise to ask the person if they want the job.

2. Who do you want to pick as guardians for the kids? If you don't have children who are minors, this doesn't apply, but it's incredibly important if you do. Once again, talk to those people first.

3. Who should get your stuff? This is when things can get complicated, but it may help to make a list so that you can easily look at everything substantial that you own and divide it up fairly. Some people sit down with everyone who will be named to see if they want anything in particular, thus helping to avoid conflicts later.

As you work on your will, be sure you take the proper legal steps in California, as well.

Source: Bankrate, "How to start writing your will," Liz Weston, accessed Jan. 07, 2016

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