5 Important Parts Of Preparing A Will
Everyone should have a will ready in case of unforeseen events. These go beyond the stereotype of a will covering a person's death and should include advanced directives for other scenarios, too. An attorney will encourage you to do the following things as part of will preparation.
You should conduct a full inventory of all of your assets and liabilities. Locate and copy titles for vehicles, real estate, and other forms of property. Track down the information for your checking, saving, and brokerage accounts, too. If you have any outstanding debts or tax bills, identify who the associated creditors or agencies are.
You should compile directives that go beyond what you want to be done if you pass. People often call this a living will. It should address what happens if you're incapacitated due to illness, injury, or age. Likewise, it should name who has the power to manage your personal financial affairs, make medical decisions on your behalf, and handle any business powers like voting rights.
Name an executor. Generally, this shouldn't be the attorney that handled the legal will preparation. The executor should be someone you trust to understand and enact your wishes in your absence. Also, it's wise to name at least one successor in case the executor is unavailable or incapacitated. Contact anyone you want to name as an executor or successor to make sure they'll be comfortable doing the job.
If you have any children, include guardianship in your will preparation. You don't want a challenging situation to become worse with a potential custody fight. Even if your partner is still alive, it's wise to deal with guardianship issues in case something unlikely simultaneously happens to both of you. As is the case with naming administrators, contact the folks you wish to name as guardians and make sure they're comfortable with the responsibility.
Beneficiaries and Distributions
Most folks will want their wills to distribute assets and money to preferred beneficiaries. Foremost, you must identify the beneficiaries by name and include all available contact information. You may need to track them down so you can update their contact information. It is also a good idea to perform annual updates after doing your will preparation.
Similarly, you'll want to declare the distribution of your assets and money to the beneficiaries. Whenever possible, try to identify who gets what. You may need to include serial numbers to differentiate similar items, too.
For more information about preparing a will, reach out to a local law office, such as the Law Office of Brett Gilman.