Things You Should Know Before You Prepare Your Will

Whether you’re nearing the end of your life or simply want to prepare for the inevitable regardless of how far off it seems, you might be considering making a will. For someone who has never done this before, it could seem a bit overwhelming. The following are some things you should know before you prepare your will.

You Need to Collect Certain Documents

When creating a will or an estate plan, your lawyer will need to see some certain documents. Some of these documents will be copied and included in the estate plan, and others will simply need to be referenced for clarity and officiality. These documents include:

  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage and divorce certificates
  • Bank account information
  • Mortgage and deed documents
  • Insurance policy information
  • Investment portfolios
  • Funeral and burial plans

You Should Speak to Executors Before Naming Them

Perhaps you’ve thought about it long and hard and you know exactly who you want to be your executor of estate. Does he or she want to fill that role? Is he or she committed to acting on the will when you pass away? Speak with the individual you wish to name to be sure there’s that commitment. You may also want to speak with and appoint an alternate if the original executor is unable to act for some reason.

You Should Speak With Guardians

If your children are minors at the time of your death, it’ll be nice to have them be raised by someone of your choosing. If you don’t name that person in your will, there’s a chance the court will make another decision of guardianship. Before you name a guardian, however, you should also speak to him or her to be sure he or she is up to the task. Raising children can be difficult, and when it is sprung on a person without warning, it could be more difficult. Get the commitment from your chosen guardian so you can feel confident naming him or her in the will.

You Have No Obligation to Put Someone In Your Will

You don’t have to put someone in your will just because you’re related. If you feel your adult child will mismanage any money given, you can specifically name that child and state you don’t want him or her to get any of your estate money. Keep in mind, however, if your children are minors, and you leave everything to a new spouse, there’s a chance the court will make a ruling in your children’s favor and still give them a portion of the estate.

Getting Your Will Started

Now is a great time to get your will started. Collect everything you’ll need and contact an estate planning attorney to start the process today. Contact an estate attorney, to discuss your obligations.