Preparing for estate planning

Let us help you know what you need to do to prepare for making your estate documents.
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Prepare for Estate Planning FAQs

To prepare for making your estate planning documents, you'll need to inventory your assets and consider how you want your assets distributed. You may also need to create a plan for what may happen to your pets, digital assets and family heirlooms.

What assets should be included in a Will?

Before writing your Will, you'll need to inventory your assets. Assets can include items that have a monetary value or sentimental value. Other considerations include what you may want to happen to your pets or livestock.

Property to include in a Will:

  • Real estate including homes, land, timeshares, commercial buildings, vacation property
  • Cash such as bank accounts, savings accounts, business accounts, money market accounts
  • Personal property like intellectual property and royalties
  • Tangible property such as vehicles, jewelry, art, antiques and furniture
  • Business assets, if dictated by your operating agreement

Do I need a lawyer to make a Will?

No, you do not. It is simple to make a Last Will and Testament using our document builder. If you have a large estate, you may benefit from consulting with your accountant and lawyer to make sure you create a Will that would be difficult to dispute. You may also want to hire a lawyer if you own business assets with other owners that you may need to include in your Will.

Do my spouse and I need separate Wills?

Yes. In most cases, you and your spouse will need separate Wills. You may have separate assets and you likely will not die at the same time. In addition, some states do not support "Joint Wills." If you happen to die at the same time, both Wills will go into probate.

Separate Wills give you the opportunity to address issues such as,

  • Children from previous relationships
  • Sentimental family property that you may want to leave to someone other than your spouse
  • To assure that your children will inherit certain assets rather than your spouse's children or your spouse's future spouse
  • The distribution of business assets
  • Leaving too many assets to an elderly spouse making it difficult for them to receive benefits

Can I arrange my own funeral?

Yes, you can. You can set aside funds in a Trust to cover your expenses and create a Memorial Plan to outline your funeral details. You can plan any details you wish such as whether you want your organs donated, where you want to be buried, which funeral home you want to use, and more. You can even write your own obituary. You can leave your instructions with your Will and other estate planning documents. You should also leave your instructions with the person(s) who you want to carry out your funeral plan. If you don't want a family member or friend to arrange your funeral, you can assign a professional, who you have made payment arrangements with, to fulfil your desires for you.