Will Preparation Checklist

If you have decided that it's time to consider coming up with an estate plan, you probably already know that the drafting of a will is one of the central components in almost any estate plan.

However, preparing a will can sometimes be pretty complicated. Because everybody's situation when they're writing a will is unique, every will is going to be unique, as well. For that reason, it's impossible to write a comprehensive guide to drafting a will without knowing your precise situation. However, there are a few elements that are common to almost every will, so there are some steps that will be involved in the preparation of any will, regardless of its contents.

LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor, , Attorney at Law

This will preparation checklist should not be seen as all-inclusive. However, it does list many of the elements that will be found in every single valid will, and should serve as a good starting point.

  1. Personal Information: Your will should contain all relevant information about yourself, such as your name, address, marital status, the name and address of your spouse, whether or not you have any previous wills, etc.
  2. Beneficiary information: Everybody who stands to benefit from your will, including close relatives (such as your spouse, children, grandchildren, etc.), as well as everyone else you intend to include in your will, should be listed, along with their most recent known contact information.
  3. Assets: You should list everything you own in the will. This includes bank accounts, stock portfolios, life insurance policies, real estate, and personal property. You should also list the estimated value of those assets.
  4. Liabilities: You should list all of your liabilities, including debts incurred from loans, civil judgments, etc.
  5. Professional adviser: Any professional (such as a lawyer) who helped you draft your will should be listed in it, along with their contact information.

This list is far from exhaustive, but it does include some of the most important elements needed to make a will valid and effective. If you have any questions about this will preparation checklist, or any other issue related to estate planning, you should speak with an estate planning attorney as soon as possible.


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