When you make a will you want to accomplish two primary goals. First, you need to account for all of your assets. Then you decide which of your beneficiaries will inherit what. You can also include your end-of-life wishes to ensure that family members do not need to make some hard decisions. A Woodland Hills will attorney can help you make a binding document that can help you lay out a plan for your assets and your family’s future.
What Should I Have Before Making a Will?
Before you make your will, you should have any important documents relating to the assets you own. This can include:
- Deeds to property
- Statements for checking, savings, and investment accounts
- Your marriage license, if you plan to make your spouse the executor
- Copies of any insurance policies
Then you can make a plan for what will happen to each of your assets. If your bank accounts and life insurance policy have named beneficiaries already, that does not have to change. However, it’s important to be sure that you have beneficiaries chosen for any accounts or properties that are not already set to pass down to someone else.
Now is also the time to choose the executor for your will, the person who will be in charge of making sure that your final wishes are honored. This is an important job, so choose carefully.
Can Digital Assets Be Included in a Will?
You should also make sure that any digital assets are included in the will. Make a list of your online accounts and passwords so that your loved ones can access these sites once you have passed away. In fact, it may be wise to appoint a “digital” executor to handle this for you, so that there is no confusion about who should get access to what information after you pass.
How Do You Make Sure That a Will is Legally Binding?
Every state has its own requirements for a legally binding will. In California, this means that the will must be written, known to be a will, and witnessed by two people who know that thie purpose of this document. If you do not have a legal will, your family is going to end up going through the probate process where not all of your dying wishes may be honored.
Can I Adjust My Plans Later?
You can change your will. We recommend reviewing your will from time to time to ensure that it still functions in the way that you would like. If you need to change beneficiaries, the executor, or anything else, we can help with that.
Talk to an Estate Planning Lawyer
So when you are ready to write a will, contact the Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman and schedule a consultation. We can help you account for all of your assets and make your end-of-life plans clear to your family. Then we can assist you with the rest of your estate planning needs.