Since no one can entirely prevent accidents or illness, it is never too soon to start writing a will. Once you write your will, you can have peace of mind knowing that you put all of your affairs in order, and you can be sure that your family will appreciate your efforts.
Make a List of Beneficiaries
Beneficiaries are individuals who stand to inherit from you, they can be your children, your spouse, your siblings, your close friends, a favorite charity – they can be anyone you choose. Make a list of your beneficiaries, but also make a list of anyone who you do not want to give anything to.
Make a List of Your Property
From your primary residence to your vacation home in Florida, to your family heirlooms, your automobiles, and everything in between, make a list of everything you own, what it's worth, and what you want to happen to the property. Do you want certain belongings sold and the proceeds distributed, or do you want the object given directly to the beneficiary? If you are married, New York's laws will govern how marital property is distributed, but you can usually dispose of a portion of your marital estate.
Connect the Beneficiaries with the Property
Connect the beneficiaries with the property they are to receive. If you are specifically disinheriting an estranged son or daughter, or someone else, refrain from putting the reason in the will since wills are public documents and you do not want negative information about your family on record.
Think About Your Preferences
How do you want the end of your life to be handled? Do you want a big, extravagant funeral? Do you want a celebration? Do you want to be buried or cremated? Do you want your body to be donated to science? Your will is the one place that you make your wishes known. While it can be difficult to contemplate one's own mortality, by making plans while you are still alive and of sound mind, the less stress on your family when the inevitable happens.
Consider Advanced Age or Incapacitation
What do you want to happen if you are afflicted with Alzheimer's or become incapacitated? Who will handle your finances? Where will you live? If you become terminally ill, do you want to receive life-sustaining treatment that will prolong the dying process? All of these issues should be considered, and they can be addressed in your living will and during the estate planning process.