A will is the document most likely to come to mind for someone realizing they haven’t created an estate plan. Whether it’s a change in life circumstances or the loss of a loved one and the discovery they didn’t have a will, you must have a plan. Your family’s needs are core to the creation of the proper estate planning documents.
The will is truly just the beginning. It’s where you document most of your plans and intentions, but this often means exploring other estate planning options as your needs grow, too. In order to determine what you’ll need, you start by looking at what you already have and where there are gaps.
Here are some key questions to consider in that process:
- Do you already have a life insurance policy in place? This is especially vital if you have children, mortgages, or other needs that you’d like a spouse to be able to manage if something happened to you.
- Do you have a legally appointed guardian for any minor children? While you certainly hope your children don’t ever need a guardian that you’d name in your will, make sure you have documented your intentions and had a conversation with the intended guardian about serving in that role.
- Do any of your children have special needs or are there parenting issues and values you’d like passed on to them if something happened to you?
- What kinds of property do you own? Do you have specific intentions for it? Do you want it placed inside of a more advanced tool like a trust, or are you okay with an outright bequest listed in your will?
Your desires and your concerns around protecting your family should be front and center for your estate plan. If you need support in creating your plan, talk to a NH estate planning lawyer now.