If your child was entering kindergarten about the time you last executed a Will and has been shaving for several years, it’s probably time to review your estate plan. The preparation of a Will doesn’t cost much and can save your estate big bucks in the long run. (However, if you’ve discovered a foolproof way to “take it with you”, please ignore this advice).
If you die without a Will, your property may not pass to the people (or charity) you care about the most. Even worse, all or a portion of your property may pass to people you don’t care about at all.
A “simple” or a complex Will may be drafted to meet your personal and financial needs. Before conferring with your lawyer, it is helpful to prepare a written summary of yow assets (and liabilities), including such items as bank accounts, securities, loans to others, the value of business interests, life insurance coverage, vehicles, real estate, interests in trusts and employment benefit plans, household furnishings, valuable jewelry and antiques, and other assets. Your lawyer will assist you with the preparation of a family tree which identifies your parents, spouse, children, siblings, nieces and nephews, cousins and other relatives.
Before making an appointment with a lawyer, you will want to give thought to the person or persons you wish to name as the executor of your estate. If you have minor children, you will be faced with the often difficult decision of naming a “back-up” guardian, in addition to your spouse or partner. You may also need to name one or more trustees.
The first step is simple. Call a lawyer and make an appointment. Where there’s a Will, there is a lot less grief for all concerned when the inevitable happens.