If you’re preparing a will, that’s great! Too often, individuals don’t prepare for the inevitable, which could leave family members in a panic or a contentious situation. If you’re ready to prepare a will, you might have a lot of questions. Before you head to your attorney’s office, the following are some answers to questions that will get you started on the right foot.
What Documents Should I Gather?
Before making your will, you’ll need to gather every document that has any relation to your estate. This would include marriage and divorce certificates, birth certificates, and death certificates. If you own property, you should gather all the deeds and mortgage documents. Your bank account numbers should be included, so you may need a bank statement. Insurance cards that include your policy numbers should be gathered up, as well as any investment portfolio account information. Finally, if you have already purchased a burial lot, be sure you have those documents, as well as your funeral plan if applicable.
Who Should Be My Executor of Estate?
You’ll want to ask someone you trust to be the executor of your estate. This individual will end up working closely with your attorney to carry out the wishes in your will. When the executor is someone you trust, you can rest assured your property and family members will be properly cared for after your passing. If you feel an alternate executor is necessary, be sure you ask someone to do that. Don’t just put someone down without speaking to him or her. It’s a big responsibility, and you’ll want to ensure the people you trust are up for the task.
What Should I Do If I Have Children Who Are Minors?
You’ll need to determine someone to be the guardian of your children should both you and the children’s other parent die. If the other parent is incarcerated or hospitalized, you’ll also need to determine a guardian. Speak with someone you trust to ensure he or she is willing to take your kids. Think about a close family member or friend who shares your same values and will raise your children the same way you would. If you feel that individual would be a great person to care for your children’s physical and emotional needs, but wouldn’t be so great at handling the financial aspect of it, you could name a financial guardian to distribute funds to the children as they need it.
Getting Started With Your Will
When you’re ready to prepare a will, there are some things you’ll need to do beforehand. Contact your estate planning lawyer, such as from Patterson Bray, today to learn what you can do before your meeting.