Have you made the decision to finally move forward with drafting a will? Great! This is an excellent way to protect the future of your family and to take control over what happens to your assets after your death.
Your estate planning attorney in Phoenix, AZ will be able to guide you through the process step by step so you hit all the most important subjects in your estate plan. With regard to your will, here are some specific items you’re going to want to be sure you cover:
- Executor: Your personal representative (or estate executor) is the person who will be responsible for carrying out all elements of your will according to your wishes, including distributing property to your heirs and settling all the debts associated with your estate. You should also be sure to name an alternate in case your primary choice is unable to fill the role for any reason.
- Beneficiaries: Outline which people or entities you want to receive which pieces of property you own. You can identify specific bequests, or you can give percentages of your estate to people, charities or other organizations. Just like with your executor, you should be sure to name alternate beneficiaries for some types of assets as well.
- Remaining property: There will always be some property left over after all specific bequests are taken care of, so make sure you specify some stipulations as to what happens with this remaining property. You can donate it, assign it to a specific person or people or allow your loved ones to make their own decisions.
- Business assets: If you own a business or an interest in a business, be sure to leave behind instructions as to how you wish your business assets to be allocated. You should be sure to leave these instructions separate from any personal assets you own.
- Guardianship: If you are the parent of a minor child, you should leave behind your wishes for whom should assume guardianship of the child until he or she turns 18 years old. Usually people will name a trusted relative or close friend who has a lifestyle that most closely matches their own. The idea is to place your child in a situation where there’s going to be as smooth and comfortable a transition as possible, given the circumstances.
- Pets: If you have pets, you may wish to include a stipulation in your will regarding who should be the caretaker for the pets. You may also leave behind a specific amount of money to cover pet-related expenses for that caretaker.
- Funeral: You should also use your will or estate planning documents to leave behind any wishes you have regarding a funeral, burial or memorial service.
These are just a few of the items you should be sure to include in your will.
Categorized in: Estate Planning