Most people know that they need to have a will, but have not begun estate planning, simply because they do not know where to start. Having a will written is an important part of this process, as it is the legal document that expresses your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and care of your children after your death.
Knowing what your will should include will help you know what information you should gather so that you can provide it to your estate planner, and help them work out the best plan for you.
The following is a list of what information your estate planner will want to know:
1. Who will be your executor or personal representative?
The person who will be responsible for ensuring your will is carried out as it is written is called your Personal Representative, or Executor of your will. You will want to choose a trustworthy family member or close friend to take on this important responsibility.
2. What significant assets do you own?
The property you may wish to leave to others after your death may include:
- Real PropertyVehicles
- Business Interests
- Cash and investment accounts
3. Who will inherit your assets?
Your will should name the beneficiaries who will inherit each asset. Beneficiaries can be children, relatives, charities, businesses, or other people you wish to receive your assets. Your attorney will also help you decide the best method to ensure your assets will pass to your beneficiaries, including through the Will, through a Trust, or by beneficiary designation on accounts.
4. Who will be the guardian for your underage children?
If your children are minors, you should consider who you want to raise them in the event that both you and their other parent are no longer around.
5. Who will manage your underage children’s inheritance?
Leaving property to children, or even young adults who are not yet able to manage their inheritance is best done by authorizing a custodian or trustee to handle these assets and distribute them to the beneficiaries when they are a certain age. A custodian or trustee is usually a trusted relative or friend, although in some cases a bank or corporate trustee may be necessary.
6. What happens to your business assets?
If you own all or part of a business, it’s important to decide how your business assets or interest will be distributed. An experienced Carroll County, MD estate planner can help you determine the most cost-efficient way to make sure that decisions regarding your business are carried out after your death.
7. How should expenses, taxes, and debts be paid?
Responsibility for debts and final expenses, including probate costs, estate taxes, inheritance taxes, and other costs should be discussed and addressed as needed.
Draft Your Will with an Estate Planner in Carroll County, MD
The best way to simplify the estate planning process and ensure your will includes everything needed in order for it to be carried out according to your wishes is to work with a professional Carroll County, MD estate planning lawyer. DK Rus has practiced estate planning law for over 25 years and is dedicated to helping Maryland residents make solid plans for their futures.
Contact us to request your free consultation and begin your estate planning today.