News you can use: How to write your will

A “to-do” list for drafting your last will and testament

Writing a will is arguably one of the most sensible things you can do for yourself and for your family. However, if you are among the 56% of Americans without a will, as reported by a 2016 Gallup poll, you might be wondering how to begin the will-writing process.

A will is an important part of your estate plan. Having one means that you control how your personal property is distributed, who will care for your minor children, and who will administer your affairs when you pass away.

In a recent New York Times article, John Schwartz describes – with comedic flair – his experience when he and his wife finally decided to write their wills. He concludes with a “will to-do list” that may be helpful as you draft (or revisit) your own.

Duke University’s Office of Gift Planning encourages you to consult your financial advisor or estate-planning attorney as you prepare your will. Please contact a member of our team if we can be of assistance in any way.

TAGS: News You Can Use wills Estate and Retirement Planning

About the author

Brandy Chieco

Brandy oversees marketing and communications, events and special initiatives for the Office of Gift Planning. She works closely with donors who are featured in Duke Magazine, the Blueprints blog and other publications. She also works closely with development teams, schools and alumni volunteers as part of our comprehensive reunion efforts. Prior to joining the team, Brandy worked in marketing, human resources and banking. She received her B.A. degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. When she is not in the office, Brandy enjoys local theatre, exploring the diverse Durham food scene and spending quality time with her husband and son.