Writing a will can be a difficult and complicated task, and it is essential to understand the factors involved before delving into the estate planning process. According to ABC News, one important initial step is to choose witnesses and the executor of the will. The executor is the one responsible for carrying out the stipulations laid out in the will. Therefore, this person must be dependable and able to wade through a sometimes difficult process. Ohio has its own set of regulations regarding wills, so understanding the state's specific estate laws is key to creating a legitimate legal document.
U.S. News and World Report states that beneficiaries do not qualify as witnesses for the signing of the will. Rather, witnesses should be non-beneficiaries who are 18 years or older, and who are trustworthy enough to testify in court accurately if the will is contested.
Paying attention to details is also important. Even smaller items should be included in the will. Naming the beneficiaries of valuable or sentimental items may help to mitigate conflict among surviving family members. Since family dynamics change over time, it may also be necessary to revisit the will periodically to make changes. Some changes may simply involve the addition of new personal assets. A will may also include a personal letter or note for loved ones to treasure.
Lastly, the will should be kept in a safe place. Close, trusted family members or friends should know the location of the document so that it can be retrieved and executed properly when the time comes.