Four Steps to Your First Will
1. Begin with the Basics - Start by getting organized: Outline your objectives, determine the value of your property, inventory your major assets, estimate outstanding debts, and prepare a list of family members and other beneficiaries to whom you want to pass assets. You’ll also want to ask yourself these two questions:
- How do I want to divide my assets among my family members, other loved ones and favorite causes?
- Do I need to make any special provisions for any of my heirs?
2. Choose Guardians - If you have minor children or an adult child, a parent or spouse with special needs who is your dependent, you must think about who will care for them when you’re gone. Talk to your proposed guardian ahead of time about what you are asking, and understand that if you don’t name a guardian, the courts may end up doing it for you.
3. Choose an Executor - If you don’t have a will, or if your will doesn’t name an executor, the courts will appoint one. Your executor undertakes many important responsibilities, including:
- Notifying all interested parties and agencies of your death.
- Paying creditors and outstanding taxes.
- Distributing your assets according to your will.
4. Meet with an Estate Planning Attorney - To avoid trouble for your heirs, seek the counsel of an estate planning attorney to help record your wishes in a legally sound will. When drafting your will, you may spend a few hundred dollars or several times that amount depending on where you live. Whatever the going rate in your area, resist the ‘deal.’ Instead, select a qualified estate planning attorney who can help you save your estate money and eliminate heartache in the long run.
After your family is taken care of, you can extend your support by planning a gift that makes a lasting impact on our work. We hope you’ll consider including a gift called a charitable bequest to the Alpha Sigma Phi Foundation in your will or living trust. To make a charitable bequest, you need a current will or revocable living trust. Your gift can be made as a percentage of your estate or you can make a specific bequest by giving a certain amount of cash, securities, or property. After your lifetime, Alpha Sigma Phi Foundation receives your gift. A charitable bequest offers these main benefits:
- Simplicity. Just a few sentences in your will or trust are all that is needed. Share the sample bequest language for Alpha Sigma Phi Foundation with your estate planning attorney: “I, [name], of [city, state, zip] give, devise and bequeath to Alpha Sigma Phi Foundation, 710 Adams Street, Carmel, IN 46032 [written amount or percentage of estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose.”
- Flexibility. Because you are not actually making a gift until after your lifetime, you can change your mind at any time.
- Versatility. You can structure the bequest to leave a specific item or amount of money, make the gift contingent on certain events, or leave a percentage of your estate to us.
- Tax Relief. If your estate is subject to estate tax, your gift is entitled to an estate tax charitable deduction for the gift’s full value.
We’re here to help
When drafting your will, we hope you’ll support Alpha Sigma Phi by including a charitable bequest that will benefit our important cause after your lifetime. Please contact Matt Humberger, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information about this flexible way to support our mission.
Share the simple bequest language for Alpha Sigma Phi Foundation with your estate planning attorney: “I, [name], of [city, state, zip] give, devise and bequeath to Alpha Sigma Phi Foundation, 710 Adams Street, Carmel, IN 46032, [written amount or percentage of estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose.”