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Checklist for Making or Writing a Will

For many people, the idea of planning for your death may seem difficult, but planning for the future will ensure that there are no problems for those left behind after you. With a little planning and legal advice, you can help to avoid family arguments and prevent your estate being lost or reduced through State taxes or probate problems. You can also make sure that your treasured possessions and assets go to those who you want to include as heirs.

Northern Virginia Trusts and Estates is a North Virginia company who can offer you legal and estate planning services to help you plan for the future. Our services are affordably priced as we believe that cost should never be an issue in putting off the plans for your estate.

We have provided legal services across North Virginia covering McLean, Vienna, Fairfax, Reston, Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, Tyson’s Corner, Sterling and Great Falls.

Give us a call today for a free estate planning consultation.

Use our checklist before you start to prepare a will.  You’ll need to think about the following:

  • List your assets
  • List your beneficiary or beneficiaries
  • Who will be your executor or executors

List Your Assets

First, make a list of your significant assets. This should include property, antiques and jewelry, boats and vehicles, and any other valuable items you own. However, you cannot include any property held in joint ownership, and certain financial items (pensions, stocks and shares, bank accounts) and will need to name the beneficiary with the broker or bank.

List Your Beneficiaries

For many of us, it is easy to decide who we wish to be names as heirs to our estate after our death. However, the main beneficiaries of your will need to be named, as will any minor beneficiaries. For instance, you may wish to leave certain items, treasured possessions or sums of money to friends or family. These will need to be listed separately in the will along with the beneficiary’s name to ensure your wishes are carried out.

It is wise to include alternative beneficiaries in case the first choices do not survive you. If you choose to omit your spouse or children from becoming heirs, take the time to get legal counsel and understand inheritance rights before doing so. The expert legal counselors and attorneys at Northern Virginia Trusts & Estates can walk you through estate planning and inheritance procedures.

Choose Executor(s)

The executors of your will have a duty to exercise your wishes, but there is no need for any special or legal knowledge to execute a will properly. What is required is someone who is honest, diligent and has plenty of common sense in order to ensure that all of your wishes are carried out for the good of all. It is quite appropriate to choose your spouse or a relative, but it may be that you choose someone who lives nearby, or has knowledge of your financial affairs. It is always a good idea to make sure that the proposed executor is willing to do the job and to discuss your wishes with them before finalizing your will.

We can advise you on all of these issues in our free, no obligation estate planning consultation, so call us today  and take advantage of this service.

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