A will is a vital foundation for an overall estate plan to ensure what you’ve earned goes where it should after you are gone. To make sure your wishes are honored, there are six key elements to consider while working with an attorney to draft your will.
Questions Your Attorney Will Ask Before Drafting Your Will
Estate planning isn’t a one-size-fits-all business. Your family and financial situation are unique and will impact how your will should be created. To draft the most effective will, here’s what you need to think about ahead of time:
- What specific property and assets do you own? A listing of your assets helps an attorney assess your tax liability and impacts whether you need to set up trusts to avoid probate.
- Who do you want to provide for? It’s important for your attorney to know if you are married, divorced, or have children. Furthermore, do you want to leave property or heirlooms to family members, friends, charities, or other organizations?
- Should all of your heirs inherit equally? If not, do you have a preference for different assets going to different people?
- Do you have specific goals for your will? For instance, you may want to ensure a special needs child is taken care of after you are gone, or use assets to cover a grandchild’s college costs.
- If you have minor children, who should be named as a guardian? While this isn’t a pleasant topic, it needs to be addressed in the event you pass away before your child comes of age.
- Who should serve as executor of your will or any trusts? This person should be someone you trust who shares your values and views but doesn’t have a conflict of interest in overseeing your assets.
Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers immediately. An experienced estate planning attorney will walk you through the process and help you focus on what is important in your specific situation.
When meeting with an attorney, be sure to bring up if you already have an old will. Your attorney can determine if the document should be updated or rewritten entirely.
Get Started Creating Your Estate Plan
Are you looking for the peace of mind offered by a will or a more thorough estate plan? Get in touch and let us know how Theodore Alatsas can help with your legal needs.