Creating A Will Is Just The Beginning: 3 Things You Need To Do After Will Creation

Posted on: 22 February 2016

The creation of a will is an important part of estate planning, but it's also only the beginning. Below are three things that should be done after your will has been created so as to ease the probate process for your loved ones and executor upon your death.

1. Enlist the Help of a Notary Public to Reduce Probate Issues

While a will can be valid without the help of a notary public, using the services of one can help to keep your will out of probate so your loved ones receive their inheritance faster.

Probate is a legal process that establishes the validity of a will. Unfortunately, sometimes the probate process can become lengthy and complicated, but with the help of a notary public, you may be able to cut down on the time it takes and the work it requires to execute your will. With the help of a notary public, your witnesses likely won't have to testify to the validity of the will, because you've self-affirmed your will with a self-proving addidavit. If your will does go to probate, this means your executor or attorney won't have to track down the witnesses and have them appear.

2. Let Your Executor Know Where the Will Can Be Found

Your will won't do you much good if it cannot be found. This is why it's important to notify the executor of your estate of where your will and any copies are located.

There is nothing that can cause more of a mess during probate than a missing will. This is because there are a number of laws surrounding missing wills, some of which can make it more difficult for your estate to be distributed as you'd like. If a will cannot be found, some courts will take that to mean that the will was purposely destroyed, even if there are witnesses to testify otherwise. To avoid these problems and others, ensure that your executor and other trusted individuals know the location of your original will and how to easily access it upon your death.

3. Keep an Up-to-date List of Accounts

Upon your death, it's important that your family members and executor know what accounts you currently have open so that they can properly notify them and avoid any issues.

An up-to-date list of accounts should include bank accounts, credit card accounts, and loan and other debt accounts. The majority of debts and other dues will need to be paid from your estate. If your executor doesn't know who to contact to notify them of your death, your accounts could continue accruing late fees or account dues, all of which your estate would be responsible for in the end.

To learn more about the estate planning process and how you can make it easier for your loved ones, consult with an estate planning attorney like Jolein A. Harro, P.C.