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What to include in your will

| Oct 8, 2020 | Estate Planning

You have made a wise choice in deciding to write your will as soon as possible. Not only does this allow you a measure of control over what happens to your assets when you die, but it also protects your family from the hassles associated with intestacy. 

Having decided to write your will, you may nevertheless be unsure what to include in it. There is much more to a will than merely declaring who gets what. What exactly you should include in your will depends somewhat on your individual situation, but here are some general guidelines. 


The executor is the person in charge of carrying out your wishes as set forth in your will. You can name someone you trust in your will to administer your estate after you die. 

Guardians and caretakers

If you have minor children, you can name a guardian for them in your will. This person will take on parental responsibilities in your place. It is particularly important to name a guardian if you want someone other than a close family member to care for your children. 

If you have pets, someone will have to take care of them as well in the event of your death. You cannot name a guardian for your pets because this implies a legal status that animals do not have. However, you can identify someone you want to serve as a pet’s caretaker. 

Debts and expenses

The executor has to settle any outstanding debts before distributing bequests. If you have a plan for handling this, you can outline it in your will.