The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot about how we think and act, even when it comes to estate planning. According to Caring.com’s 2021 Estate Planning and Wills Survey, nearly 1 out of 2 young adults ages 18 to 34 were prompted by the pandemic to engage in estate planning.
Unfortunately, despite interest in making these major plans, more and more adults say they don’t know how to obtain a will or trust. If you are interested in checking this task off your list, here are 3 steps that will help you figure out where to start.
1. Find an attorney
Most attorneys can help you create a basic will, but a seasoned estate attorney, such as the team at Tully Rinckey law, will be able to navigate the complicated process of larger estates or wills with multiple beneficiaries. Questions you should ask when identifying potential attorney include:
- How long have you been practicing?
- Do you execute the plan or do you work with others that handle it?
- Do you periodically review the plan?
- How much do you charge?
2. Get your assets in order
When you are ready to create a will or trust, you should gather all of the paperwork for your assets. You’ll need to bring these documents to your trust lawyers including titles and deeds to properties, stock certificates, and life insurance policies
3. Select your beneficiaries
When you put together your will or trust, one of the most important questions you will need to be prepared to answer is who will inherit your trust property, life insurance benefits, or retirement and savings upon your passing.
4. Store your will in a safe place
All of your legal documents, including a will or estate plan, should be kept in a safe place such as a safe deposit box. Your attorney, of course, will also keep copies. Don’t, however, simply store it and forget it. You should make updates as your life changes and even as beneficiaries changes. Reviewing your will or trust every year or every couple of years is a good practice depending on the individual.
A will or trust is an important document for everyone. If you have questions about the process, an attorney, such as the team at Tully Rinckey, can help get you started.