Every adult should have a Last Will and Testament. Your Will provides clarity about your wishes to family and loved ones who are already grieving. Most people only consider starting their own estate plan when something causes them to think about their own mortality. Maybe you just got married and are concerned about your spouse. Maybe you recently had your first child and want to ensure they’re cared for if you aren’t around. Whatever the reason, you should do a little prep work before you begin.

Who are your heirs? Your heirs can be just about anybody or any entity, so think about children, siblings, parents and friends. You can also leave assets to charities.

Who will serve as your Personal Representative or Executor? Someone has to be in charge of paying your final bills, filling out the legal forms and distributing your estate assets to your heirs. It’s best to have a backup, too, just in case something prevents your first choice from serving.

Do you have dependents who need protection? Whether you have minor children, an adult child with a disability or you’re caring for a family member with a physical or mental disability, your Will should specify who you would like make decisions in your place.

What kind of assets do you have? You should create a list of all your major assets, including real estate, retirement accounts, pension plans, digital assets, life insurance policies, heirlooms and other valuables. This will help you decide if certain items should go to specific individuals and how the rest should be divided.

In addition to your Will there are several other documents, like Powers of Attorney, that make up your Estate Plan. Whether you need to make your first Will or you’re looking to update an existing Estate Plan, contact Cooney Law Offices today. We can help!