What should be included in your will?

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Estate plans are for so much more than just distributing assets, although that is a significant part of it. A will, which is often the most important document in your estate plan, can be used for several purposes. Here is a list of the few things you may want to do with your will during the estate planning process.

Name an executor

The executor of your estate will oversee the handling of all matters involving your estate following your death. Some of the executor’s main tasks will likely include: having the will validated, paying taxes, paying off creditors, notifying beneficiaries, and distributing assets. In Arizona, an executor must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind.

List assets and name beneficiaries

As previously mentioned, a will is most often used to distribute assets belonging to your estate. You will need to name the parties who will be receiving assets from the estate as beneficiaries and determine which assets belong to which beneficiaries. Estate assets may include bank accounts, real estate, investment assets, and personal items.

Name a guardian for your children

If you have minor children, you may choose a guardian to care for them if you pass away. Before choosing someone, you should consider who will be best able to handle the responsibilities of raising a child and who will be willing to take on this responsibility. You may also want to include a provision for any future children in case you pass away before having the chance to update your will.

You may also want to include a trust for a minor child in your will to set aside property intended for the minor that a trustee will manage until your child is old enough and mature enough.

Name someone to care for your pet

As you create your will, you should also consider who you want to provide care to your pet if you pass away. You should talk to friends and family in advance and determine who would be able and willing to handle the responsibilities of caring for your pet.

Wills may vary from person to person, depending on their individual needs. You will also need to make sure your will meets all state requirements. If your will does not meet the requirements, courts may declare it invalid.