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Things to Consider Before Writing Your Will

It may be difficult to think about death, but it is important for your sake and the sake of your loved ones to prepare for that eventuality by making a comprehensive estate plan that may include a will. However, there are some things that you should think about before sitting down to write your will. If you have any questions about what you need to know before you plan your estate, you should talk to a skilled estate planning attorney who will be able to answer all your questions and concerns.

Identify Your Assets

One of the first things that you need to identify before writing your will is what assets you have, and what assets will be distributed by the will, which are not necessarily the same things. Your assets include anything that you own or have an interest in. Assets include stocks, tangible possessions, and real estate, but also insurance policies and bank accounts. However, not all possessions will pass through the will. Anything that has a payable on death beneficiary, such as a life insurance policy and many bank accounts, will pass directly to the beneficiary named. Wills can distribute all the other kinds of assets. Therefore, you should think about all the different kinds of assets at play and which ones need to be passed through the will. If you are married you also may need to determine which assets you own solely and which assets you and your spouse own jointly.

Consider Where You Want Your Assets to Go

The next step is deciding who you want to have your assets after your death. There may be specific heirlooms that you want to go to designated family members, or if you are married you may want everything to go to your spouse. Depending on your assets, family dynamics, and many other factors, this may be a very simple decision or a much more difficult one. You do not necessarily need to have everything figured out, but you should start to think about it.

Think About Who Should Execute Your Will

Preparing a will requires naming an executor who is responsible for paying the debts of the estate and then distributing assets to the beneficiaries. In preparation for making a will, you should think about who you know that would be good for this role, or you can name an attorney or other professional. 

Find an Attorney

While there are “do-it-yourself” will templates available online, it is always best to work with an attorney. Wills are legal documents that need to meet precise requirements. There are also many times where a will substitute such as a living trust will be a better fit for your needs and an estate planning attorney can help advise you as to what is best for you.

Contact The Villages Estate Planning Attorneys Today

No matter where you are in the estate planning process, it is important to work with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney. Whether you have just begun to think about what you want to happen after your death or you have decided on all the specific details of your wishes, a qualified estate planning attorney can help you with a comprehensive estate plan that will carry out your preferences with the least hassle and cost. Our experienced estate planning attorneys at Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group located in The Villages can help you and your loved ones have peace of mind.

Resources:

aarp.org/money/estate-planning/info-09-2010/ten_things_you_should_know_about_writing_a_will.html

money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2012/09/26/important-things-to-consider-when-preparing-your-will

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