This is not a substitute for legal advice.  An attorney must be consulted.

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What considerations should be given to drafting a will?

There are many items to be considered when making a Will. Make a list of all your questions and concerns before consulting with your attorney. Here is a list of common concerns:

  1. Prepare a personal financial statement to determine whether a Simple Will or estate planning Will is required.

  2. Consider whether charitable bequests are part of the estate plan.

  3. How do I hold title to my assets? Certain types of ownership, such as joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, will take effect immediately at death and are not controlled by a Will. Beneficiary designations on life insurance and retirement accounts should also be reviewed in conjunction with the estate plan.

  4. Some or all property was acquired in a community property state while married.

  5. Provide for possible changes in circumstances, such as change in marital status or birth or adoption of additional children.

  6. Name an executor and alternate executor to administer the estate. Check state law before naming a nonresident to act. An individual or corporate (e.g. a bank) executor can usually act. Waiving the bond can save the estate expense. Grant the executor extensive powers to cut down on the need for court approval of actions.

  7. Provide for an alternative distribution of assets if a beneficiary dies before the testator dies.

  8. When making specific bequests (bequests of specific items of property to specific individuals), provide for the situation where that asset is disposed of before death or if there are not sufficient funds to fund all the specific bequests.

  9. Naming a guardian for minor children and providing instructions and funding for the guardian.

  10. One or both spouses has children from a previous marriage.

Copyright © 1994 - 2015 by LAWCHEK, LTD.

This is not a substitute for legal advice. An attorney must be consulted.