Some people say that Australia is a nation of procrastinators. This can be hardly surprising, as there are so many things to do on a daily basis and many important tasks to perform that can sap the energy. It's even less surprising, therefore, that many people choose to put off any task that is perceived as unpleasant. This could certainly include the making of a will, even though it's crucial to nominate some all-important people to help with this important task. If this is you, where do you start?

Figuring Out What You've Got

To begin the process, make a list of everything that you have. You might need to get assessments from some financial advisers to help show you the size of your estate. Don't forget to include sentimental pieces that may not have much retail value but that you nevertheless want to bequeath. You can put everything onto a spreadsheet in different categories and keep adding to this document until it is complete.

Appointing an Executor

The next task is to choose an executor; this is the individual responsible for looking after all your affairs once you pass away. The name of this person has to be included in the will as a formality.

Only include somebody when you have actually discussed this with them, however. It's quite a responsible position and they must be willing to do it. Essentially, they will be responsible for distributing all of the assets that you included in your recently completed spreadsheet. They will also have to settle any outstanding taxes or bills from the cash in hand available.

Having a Spare

Some people choose to name two executors, with one being essentially a backup. It is, after all, possible that the other individual may not be able to take on the duties due to some illness or other issue. You might be able to name one of your children to this position (so long as they are over 18).

Choosing the Right Person

Many people think they should automatically appoint their spouse or partner to be the executor and to look after everything in the unfortunate event. However, as difficult as it can be to think about it, it's not inconceivable that both you and your partner could be killed in an accident. After all, you do spend a lot of time together. With this thought in mind, you also need to think about the children. If they happen to be left behind when both of you die, they will need a guardian. Consequently, you should name an individual to fulfil this role, as well.

Before you get ready to write the actual will itself, take some time to consider who you will nominate as an executor or guardian. Some people choose their attorney, especially as they are fully up-to-date with all the legal requirements necessary.

Talking with a wills and estate lawyer about each of these decisions will help ensure your after-death plans are fulfilled properly.