Creating a will, or last will and testament, is one of the most important estate planning tasks. A will is necessary because it contains your instructions for how you want your assets to be passed down and to whom. If you do not have an authorized will put in place, your estate will be subject to the probate process. You can rely on a trusted and experienced estate planning lawyer to help you complete every part of the will drafting process. Here are some tips that you should follow so that you can write a will that is complete and reflective of your estate planning goals.
Review your asset list
Knowing your full list of assets is critical when you are working on estate planning. You should know what types of assets that you have so that your estate can be valued properly. If you are missing assets or need assistance with documenting them, a lawyer will be able to help you compile the list and review your information to make sure that it is complete.
Determine asset management
Once you have your accurate list of assets, you should decide how you intend to manage them. Do you want to pass some to your loved ones? Are there any charities that you would like to donate to after your passing? These are questions that you should consider seriously. Get in touch with family or other loved ones that you want to distribute your assets to. You should put a plan together so that you can decide how best to protect the assets you have and ensure they are properly distributed.
Choose an executor
The executor is the person you appoint who is legally responsible for carrying out the wishes listed in your will. They will oversee the asset distribution process. The executor should be someone that you trust and know will follow the specific instructions you lay out in your will. If no executor is named, the court will determine an executor for you.
You may want to name guardians if you have any children or dependents in your care. To name legal guardianship, there are certain requirements that you have to fulfill. Guardians should be individuals that you trust, are financially stable, share your parenting style, and will respect your values and wishes for how you want your children to be raised.
Review your will for updates
As you can find out from a wills lawyer, like one from Kaplan Law Practice, LLC, do not just create a will and never take a second glance at it again. It is important that you review your will every few years, especially after important or major life events. The death of a family member or incapacitation of an executor are scenarios where you may want to review your will and make any changes.
After you have your will drafted make sure it is signed. For more information about how to create a will and what a wills lawyer can do for you, request a consultation right away.