We all know that we should have a will even if we’re still considered relatively young, but what should be included in it? Here are some tips from a Brentwood will attorney to help you begin planning one of the most important documents you’ll ever create.
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Tips from a Brentwood Will Attorney…
1) Name Your Beneficiaries
First, your will is the place to name your beneficiaries. This is what people generally think of when it comes to estate planning. A will answers questions regarding who will inherit your belongings after you’re gone. It’s also important to keep this information up to date as your family grows or changes. People re-marry or have children, and deaths happen too. When changes like these arise, be sure to discuss them with your Brentwood will attorney to make sure your estate plan is current and legally sound.
2) Outline Debts and Assets
You will also need to spend some time outlining your debts and assets. A big part of estate planning is simply getting organized. Take stock of your significant assets. You can list them out so you don’t forget anything when you meet with your Brentwood will attorney. It’s also a good idea to name a contingent beneficiary when reviewing your assets. For example, who gets the grand piano if your beneficiary doesn’t outlive you?
3) Designate an Executor
Another essential step is to choose someone to handle your estate. This person is responsible for carrying out the terms of your will, so it’s important to choose wisely. Also, be sure to discuss this with the person you’re considering for the role to verify that they’re up to the task. Don’t surprise someone down the road with a job they weren’t expecting.
They will need to oversee the probate process and also fairly distribute your assets to your beneficiaries. This doesn’t mean that they need a special understanding of the courts, though, because they will likely work alongside an estate planning lawyer who can guide them through each step of the process. The executor is similarly responsible for settling your final debts and taxes.
4) Specify Guardians for Minor Children
If you have minor children, this is the time to decide who will take care of them in the event that you or their other parent is ever unable to. Clearly, this is one of the most important aspects of your will, so it’s important to go over the details with your Brentwood will attorney to make sure that the paperwork is handled properly. Accidental loopholes could lead to a custody battle that would be traumatic for your children, especially at a time when they were already struggling from your loss.
Talk to a Brentwood Will Attorney
For your peace of mind, don’t put off creating a will. When you’re ready to talk to a Brentwood will attorney, contact Lewman Law by calling (925) 447-1250. John Lewman is a leading estate planning attorney in the Tri-Valley area. He’s known for his knowledge, skill and dedication, as well as his reassuring and compassionate demeanor. Do you have questions? Lewman Law is here to help.