October 01st - 3 minutes to read

How to Create a Will

Get started with the basics of estate planning by creating a will.

advisor helping woman create a will in Worthington, Ohio
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While it may be uncomfortable to think about, creating a will is crucial in preparing you and your loved ones for when you pass away. Legal documentation detailing how you want your assets distributed will make it easier on your family members and give you peace of mind that your wishes will be met. Keep reading to better understand the steps you need to follow to create a will in Worthington, Ohio.

Why Do You Need a Will?

A will, or a last will and testament, is one of the various legal documents that make up an estate plan. An estate plan is a broad, often complex action plan that not only sets legal arrangements for how your estate should be distributed after you pass away but for how things like your healthcare, finances, and business investments should be handled.

A will protects your family and personal property by deciding who your belongings will be passed to and who will care for any minor children left without a guardian. It also ensures that you get to decide how your possessions are distributed instead of Ohio‘s intestate laws. If you’re over 18 years old, you should take some time to consider if you need to write a will and what kind best suits your needs, i.e., a simple, testamentary trust, joint, or living will.

Requirements for Creating a Valid Will

Here are a few significant details that are required to create a valid will in the state of Ohio:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You must be of sound mind and free of undue influence. You must make the decisions involved in will writing freely and voluntarily.
  • Your will must be in writing, meaning it must exist in physical form. Ohio permits oral wills in certain circumstances.
  • You need testamentary intent that clearly states that the document you are writing is a will.
  • You do not need to notarize your will. However, as testator, you will need to provide a testator‘s signature in the conscious presence of at least two competent witnesses who are not beneficiaries. This needs to be executed in strict accordance with the law.

You’ll also want to include other details in your will. For example, you’ll want to document personal information like your full legal name to properly identify yourself as the will’s testator. Of course, you will also need to choose which assets you want to be included and name your beneficiaries.

You should also include a named executor that acts as a personal representative to carry out the terms of your will. If you do not name an executor for your will, someone will have to apply through probate court to be appointed, or the court will name one in the case that no one applies.

Before you begin writing your will, we recommend doing further research or seeking legal advice from an attorney to ensure you comply with Ohio law. While you aren’t required to have a lawyer to create a will, having one will simplify the process and is the best way to ensure that you follow the correct procedures to verify its validity.

If you’re located in central Ohio, Royal Oaks Financial can guide you through the challenges of will creation and estate planning to ensure that your assets are protected. We make planning for you and your family’s future simple. Reach out to us today for more information about how we can help you get started with your estate planning needs.