LAST WILL CHEAT SHEET

You know better than anyone what you want in life, and what you want to happen to your Estate when you pass. The Last Will and Testament is how you provide for your wishes. Our “Cheat Sheet” below is known as the first place to find answers to questions about how to proceed in drafting a Will, and what “Probate” is all about. Every major change in your life could affect what happens to all you have worked for in your life, after you pass. A Last Will and Testament is not only smart, it is necessary to make sure your wishes are known.

LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT INFORMATION

IN ORDER TO DRAFT YOUR LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT, I WILL NEED THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:

YOUR FULL NAME – WHAT NAME DO USE TO SIGN ALL DOCUMENTS?

EXECUTOR AND ALTERNATE EXECUTOR – THE NAMES OF TWO PEOPLE, THE FIRST BEING THE PERSON YOU WISH TO NAME AS THE EXECUTOR, WHO WILL ACTUALLY TAKE CARE OF YOUR LAST WISHES, PER YOUR LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT. THIS PERSON DOES NOT NEED TO HAVE ANY SPECIAL LEGAL ABILITY, AS THE PROBATE COURTS ARE QUITE HELPFUL ABOUT GUIDING EXECUTORS THROUGH THE PROCESS. AN ALTERNATE EXECUTOR IS THE PERSON WHO WOULD TAKE OVER FOR THE EXECUTOR IN THE EVENT THAT THE EXECUTOR CANNOT PERFORM THE ASSIGNED DUTIES, FOR WHATEVER REASON.

ANY ASSETS WHICH YOU OWN NOW SHOULD BE ACCOUNTED FOR, AS TO WHAT THE ASSET OR PROPERTY IS, AND WHO YOU WISH TO GIVE IT TO UPON YOUR DEATH. THIS INCLUDES REAL PROPERTY (LAND, HOUSE, ETC.), AND YOU SHOULD PROVIDE THE LEGAL DESCRIPTION OF THIS PROPERTY. THAT LEGAL DESCRIPTION CAN BE FOUND ON A DEED FOR THE PROPERTY. ANY ASSETS WHICH YOU DO NOT PRESENTLY OWN CANNOT BE DENOTED, OF COURSE, BUT THERE ARE WAYS THIS CAN BE PHRASED IN YOUR WILL THAT WILL TAKE CARE OF THE SITUATION WITHOUT THE NEED FOR A NEW WILL BEING DRAFTED IN THE FUTURE.

CONSIDER WHO YOU WISH TO HAVE CERTAIN PROPERTY IN THE EVENT THAT ONE OF YOUR NAMED HEIRS PRE-DECEASES YOU. THAT SHOULD BE NOTED, AS WELL. FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU HAVE THREE CHILDREN, AND THEY ARE YOUR ONLY HEIRS. THEY, HOWEVER, EACH HAVE TWO CHILDREN. IF ONE OF YOUR CHILDREN DIES, YOU SHOULD NOTE IF YOU WANT THAT DECEASED CHILD’S INHERITANCE TO INSTEAD GO TO THEIR TWO CHILDREN EQUALLY, OR, SHOULD THOSE TWO CHILDREN TAKE EQUALLY WITH THEIR AUNTS OR UNCLES?

HOW DO YOU WISH TO BE BURIED? WHERE? WITH WHAT FUNDS? IS THIS SOMETHING THAT YOU HAVE PROVIDED FOR ALREADY, AND YOUR EXECUTOR(S) ALREADY HAVE THIS INFORMATION?

DO YOU WANT ANY OR ALL OF YOUR PROPERTY TO BE SOLD AND EQUALLY DIVIDED AMONG CERTAIN PEOPLE? THAT WILL BE THE JOB OF YOUR EXECUTOR(S). CHOOSE SOMEONE WHO HAS THE ENERGY AND DESIRE TO SEE YOUR WISHES FULFILLED.

NOTE: YOU WILL NEED TO PLAN TO “FORMALIZE” YOUR WILL IN MY OFFICE, WHICH WILL TAKE APPROXIMATELY 20 MINUTES, ONCE YOU HAVE REVIEWED THE DOCUMENT. YOU WILL RECEIVE TWO ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS THAT WILL BE MARKED AS ORIGINALS. ONE SHOULD BE KEPT IN A SAFE PLACE, AND THE OTHER SHOULD BE KEPT BY THE EXECUTOR. YOU WILL ALSO RECEIVE A COPY OF THE WILL, WHICH YOU SHOULD KEEP IN A LOCATION WHERE YOUR TRUSTED FAMILY MEMBERS WILL BE ABLE TO LOCATE IT. YOU SHOULD NOTE ON THAT COPY WHERE THE ORIGINALS ARE BEING KEPT. I WILL HAVE A COPY IN MY FILES. IT IS IMPERATIVE, HOWEVER, THAT YOUR FAMILY AND/OR EXECUTOR(S) HAVE THEIR COPIES OR KNOW WHERE TO FIND YOUR COPY, SHOULD THE ORIGINALS BECOME LOST. MY FILES ARE STORED AND SHOULD YOUR FAMILY REQUIRE MY COPY IN THE FUTURE, IT MAY TAKE A GREAT DEAL OF TIME AND MONEY TO RECOVER MY COPY OF YOUR WILL.