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What Goes in a Will?

You know you have grown up when you are willing to tackle your own mortality. The best sign of this is drafting your estate plan. Not you personally, of course, but with the help of an experienced lawyer. Understanding your options requires a discussion with a trusted estate planning lawyer who can help you decide what your best path forward is for your estate plan.

Your Will Determines What Happens to Your Assets
A last will and testament is a legal document laying out what you want to have happen to your assets and your belongings once you are gone. By thinking about some questions now, you can relieve some stress off your loved one’s shoulders. When you make all of the decisions in advance, they don’t have to worry about what you might want. Your will determines who receives your personal possessions and how your assets are distributed.

State Law Decides What Happens if You Don’t Have a Will
Every state has similar laws for distribution of assets after you are gone if you die intestate, meaning without a will. If you have a spouse, they will get all of your assets. No other loved one will receive any distributions.

If you want a child, niece, nephew, or even a non-relative to receive an important item, you need a will. Without a will specifically stating the item the named individual should receive, they will not receive it.

Other Important Documents
A will is not the only component to a full and complete estate plan. In fact, there are many documents which make up an estate plan. Many people only consider a will, however, because it is the most well known.

You should also have:

  • Living will
  • Health care directive
  • Power of attorney
  • Trust 

Speaking with a skilled and experienced estate planning lawyer can help you decide what is best for you. We have knowledge you deserve to help guide you through your estate planning process.

Update Your Will Regularly
Unfortunately, many people think they can create a will once and never look at it again. That can lead to stressful situations. If you create a will when you are 30 but you don’t die until you are 90, your life will have changed dramatically during that time. If your will stays the same, it would be like reverting back.

The best way to ensure your will stays up to date is to treat it like a regular doctor checkup. Once a year, go see your trusted estate planning attorney. Talk to him or her about your major life changes:

  • Did you get married?
  • Did you have children?
  • Did you purchase a large asset?
  • Did you have a loss in your family?
  • Did you buy a new house? 
  • Did you buy a new car?
  • Do you have a new life insurance or investment policy?

All of these questions can be answered during your annual will checkup. A skilled attorney will be happy to help guide you along the way.

See an Attorney Today
When you meet with a skilled and experienced estate planning attorney, like an estate planning lawyer, you can rest assured your wishes and desires will be met. Visiting a lawyer will give you the guidance you need to ensure you have your will drafted properly and that it conveys your wishes about how your assets should be distributed.

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