Do you have a will? Though many people prefer not to think about what happens when they die, it’s better to write out your wishes than leave it up to chance. This is vitally important whether you have a large amount of money tied up in financial investments, own multiple assets or have a family. The first step to writing your will is to meet with a lawyer. It’s best to be prepared for the meeting by having all the necessary documents in order. Here’s a list of the most common papers to bring with you.
Dividing up your assets is one of the main reasons people create a will. There are many different types of items to consider, such as:
- House | Your home is most likely the largest asset you own and determining who inherits it is a big priority. Gather all documents relating to the mortgage, including the loan account number, name and contact information for the bank.
- Vehicles | Bring titles for vehicles, boats, trailers and other recreational toys you own. If you are making payments on a loan, include the bank contact information listed previously.
- Financial Accounts | Aside from these large pieces of property, organize your documents regarding savings accounts and investment portfolios.
When you have collected all your paperwork, take some time to think about who you want to designate these items to. Since this decision is not made at a moment’s notice, spend some time thinking about it in the time leading up to the meeting so you have a preference made ahead of time.
In addition to your assets, it’s necessary to include information regarding your debts too. Unfortunately, banks still collect on your debts even if you die. Declaring this information in your will makes it easier for your surviving family to manage these accounts. Include any accounts you are actively paying, such as education loans, your mortgage and consumer loans.
Beneficiary and Guardian Contact Information
Once all your assets and debts are allotted, you also need to determine who the guardian is of any dependents in your care. It’s necessary to include this information in your will and keep it up to date. The contact list should also include any additional beneficiaries of your property.
Meeting with an attorney to write a will requires some preparation. A lawyer will be able to help you more, the more prepared you are. Proficient firms like Law Group of Iowa in Des Moines, IA an elder lawyer can counsel you to ensure your will provides your family with a clear plan following your death.