If you have a family, by now you’ve probably already put together a basic last will and testament. That’s a good start, but when was the last time you took a close look at your will?
Since initially penning your will it’s very possible that your life has gone through vast changes—or even subtle ones that still require a second look at your existing will.
I’ve put together a list of 30 questions you need to answer when you get an opportunity to look through your will. While that may sound somewhat intimidating, most of the answers are fairly routine, and the ones that are more difficult involve areas that you will probably will be eager to rectify.
So grab your will, and work your way down the list. Make notes and when you’re done, it will probably be good time to have another conference with your attorney to draft an updated will that perfectly reflects your current preferences.
Here’s the list:
- Have you had any additional children since you drew up your will?
- Do you or your spouse have children from a prior marriage?
- Do you have a disabled child?
- Have you named a guardian for any minor children? If so, is your choice still a good one? Do you have an alternate choice?
- If your children are grown, do you want them to inherit equally?
- Have your objectives changed?
- Are there charitable bequests you’d like to make?
- Is the person you named as executor still a good choice? Have you named an alternate?
- Have you named a trustee? Is that choice still a good one?
- Has there been a change in your marital status since you drew up your will?
- Have you gone into business? If so, is it a corporation or partnership?
- Are your assets worth more now than when you first drew up your will?
- Have you moved to another state since your will was drawn?
- Do you own property in another state?
- Are you in line for a substantial inheritance? Is your spouse?
- Will your inheritance(s) include property in another state?
- Do you want to avoid the probate process?
- Will your estate have to pay estate tax? If so, do you know how much?
- Is there enough cash in your estate to pay off its debts and taxes?
- Will there be enough cash to take care of the ones you want to take care of?
- Have you or your spouse experienced a decline in health since your will was made?
- Are there relatives that you want to make certain do not get any of your property?
- Have you provided for a handwritten list of bequests? Is it current?
- Does your will have a common-disaster clause for both you and your spouse?
- Is your life insurance beneficiary coordinated with your estate plan?
- Is your life insurance creating an estate tax problem?
- Have the tax laws changed since your will was made?
- Do you want to make a “Living Will” and/or directive to physicians?
- Do you understand your will?
- Have you forgotten what your will says?
360 Financial and LPL Financial do not provide legal advice or services. Please consult your legal advisor regarding your specific situation.