Let me start this by saying, it is always the best practice to have a professional estate planning attorney create your estate planning documents. There are many legalities behind the creation of estate planning documents and to make certain all your wishes are met the use of a professional is suggested.
However, should you want to create your own Will, below are a few things you will want to make certain to include in your Will:
- Your basic personal identifying information
- Legal language that declares testamentary intent (which puts your state of mind as intentional that these are your final wishes)
- The name of your executor
- The guardian for minor children and/or pets
- A list of your tangible property with the named beneficiaries (family heirlooms, jewelry, furniture, etc.)
On the other hand, there are some topics you may want to avoid. While they will certainly need to be addressed, it takes time to probate a Will through the court system and for some of these topics it may complicate them. Consulting with a professional to make certain these matters are addressed with the least amount of interference is suggested.
- Interests you may have in a business
- Coverage and care for a beneficiary with special needs
- Specific types of property (real estate with joint ownership, property held in a trust, life insurance policies with specific beneficiaries already named, if you live in a community property state, etc.)
- Anything you may not want to pass through probate
Once your Will is completed, either created by yourself or through an estate planning professional, let Vault Keepers assist you by holding your Original Will in a fire/waterproof safe until the time it is needed.