What Your Attorney Will Need To Know

In order to be able to represent you and achieve your estate planning goals, we will need to know certain details in order to help you. The following is a basic list of what we will need from you, but additional information may also be required depending on the facts and circumstances that are involved.

  • What You Own. We will need information about everything you own, including real estate, personal property, valuables, stocks, bonds, securities, investments, bank accounts, insurance policies, retirement plans, pensions or other benefits, and information about any businesses you own.
  • Who Gets What? Who do you want to leave your assets to? How do you wish to divide your property among your loved ones, friends or perhaps charities? Do you want any conditions attached to the gifts?
  • Family and Beneficiaries. We need to know details of your family and marital status, whether you are divorced, re-married, or living with a partner. We need to know the names, ages, locations, and marital status of your children, grandchildren or other dependents, or if any of your children are minors. We also need to know if there are any running disputes or hard feelings among any of these people in order to take appropriate measures to assure your wishes are carried out without delay or circumvention.
  • Executor of Your Will. You must tell us who you wish to name as Executor of your will. The Executor is the person who ensures that all of your wishes are carried out as stated in your will. You may choose more than one Executor, and those persons may be family, close friends, or a professional, such as your attorney. Ideally, you should choose someone who is familiar with your estate and has the ability to undertake the sometimes long term process of administering an estate to conclusion.
  • Other Wishes. If you have particular wishes regarding your final arrangements, including your wake, funeral, religious requirements, whether to be buried or cremated, or if you are an organ donor, be sure to let your attorney know about these or any other details that are meaningful to you.
  • Keep Your Will Up-To-Date. It is advisable to review your will every five years and whenever there is any major life change, such as getting separated, married, divorced, having a child through birth or adoption, or purchasing real estate or any other significant item of expense.