Essential Checklist: Preparing for Your Will Drafting Session with a Lawyer

Preparing a will is an important step in managing your estate and ensuring your wishes are honoured after you pass away. Before meeting with a lawyer to draft your will, it’s beneficial to have several items prepared to make the process as smooth and comprehensive as possible. Here’s a list of things to consider and have ready for your meeting:

  1. List of Assets: Compile a detailed list of your assets, including real estate properties, bank accounts, investments (stocks, bonds, mutual funds), retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and personal property of value (jewellery, art, collectibles).
  2. Debts and Liabilities: Document all debts and liabilities, such as mortgages, loans, credit card debts, and any other financial obligations.
  3. Beneficiaries: Decide who you want to inherit your assets. Beneficiaries can include family members, friends, or organizations such as charities. Think about alternates in case your primary beneficiaries predecease you.
  4. Guardianship Wishes: If you have minor children or dependents, consider who you would want to take guardianship of them in your absence. It’s advisable to discuss your wishes with potential guardians before naming them in your will.
  5. Executor: Choose an executor for your will. This person will be responsible for carrying out the terms of your will and managing your estate after your death. It should be someone you trust and who is capable of handling the responsibilities.
  6. Special Instructions: Think about any specific instructions you may have, such as funeral arrangements or how you want certain personal items to be distributed.
  7. Legal Documents: Gather any existing legal documents that may be relevant, such as previous wills, trusts, divorce decrees, prenuptial agreements, or business agreements.
  8. Digital Assets: Consider your digital assets, including social media accounts, digital wallets, online banking accounts, and digital collections (photos, music, etc.). Decide how you want these managed or distributed.
  9. Tax Considerations: Although your lawyer can provide advice on this, it’s good to have an understanding of potential tax implications for your estate and beneficiaries.
  10. Questions and Concerns: Write down any questions or concerns you may have for your lawyer regarding the will or the estate planning process in general.

Having these items prepared before your meeting can help ensure that your will accurately reflects your wishes and provides clear instructions for managing your estate. It also makes the process more efficient and can reduce the time and cost involved in drafting your will.

If this article has inspired you to think about your own unique situation and, more importantly, what you and your family are going through right now, please contact your advice professional.

This information does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any person. Before making a decision, you should consider whether it is appropriate in light of your particular objectives, financial situation or needs.

(Feedsy Exclusive)

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