August is Make-A-Will Month

Did you know that August is National Make-A-Will month? That’s right – an entire month dedicated to creating or updating your will.

Despite the importance of having a will, less than half of U.S. adults have one, while 58% of adult children do not know the contents of their parents’ will. Understandably, estate planning can be uncomfortable to think about and even harder to discuss, but when to make a will is a decision that should not be postponed too long.

In fact, having those difficult conversations can ensure your final wishes are respected and executed properly in case of illness or death, while preventing misunderstandings and potential family conflict. But before you talk to your family, there are some steps you can take to get started with your will.

It’s for Everybody

Having a will empowers you to make informed decisions about the distribution of your assets and the protection of your loved ones, ensuring that your legacy lives on according to your wishes. If you are unsure of how to get started and what information you need, don’t worry — getting your affairs in order doesn’t have to be a stressful or costly process.

Power of Knowledge

Power of Knowledge

You have questions — we have answers. Check out our FAQs section for some of the most common ones.


Here’s what to do first when preparing your will:

  1. Determine Your Assets: Start by making a comprehensive list of all your assets including investments, properties, bank accounts, valuables and sentimental items.
  2. Identify Your Beneficiaries: Decide who you want to inherit your assets. Beneficiaries can be a spouse, other family members, friends, or even organizations and charities you want to support.
  3. Choose Your Executor: An executor is the person who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes as detailed in your will. This role comes with important legal responsibilities, so choose someone who is trustworthy and capable.
  4. Name a Guardian (if applicable): If you have minor children, it’s important to designate a guardian who will take care of them.
  5. Draft Your Will: While this can be done without the help of an attorney, having an attorney do it is always a good idea and will help you avoid any pitfalls caused by a “DIY” legal document. Using an attorney to draft a will can be especially beneficial if you have complex assets or if your estate could be subject to substantial taxes.
  6. Witnesses and Notarization: In many regions, a will must be signed in the presence of two witnesses who aren’t beneficiaries and may need to be notarized.
  7. Store it Safely: Make sure your will is stored in a safe, accessible place. Tell your executor where it’s located.
  8. Keep it Updated: Life changes like marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child, may require updates to your will.

Yes, that Means You Too

If you are looking for an estate planning lawyer in San Diego, California, the Hatley Law Group APC can advise you of what should and what shouldn’t be put in a will. With their guidance, you can craft a will that is comprehensive, legally sound and honors your final wishes.

Creating a will does not have to be an overly complicated or costly, but it’s certainly an important one. So, if you’ve been putting it off, Make-A-Will month is a great time to get your affairs in order and have peace of mind.

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