If you have just started estate planning, then the first thing you’ll want to talk about with your attorney is your will. Your will should include a number of different items, so that you can avoid dying while intestate. Dying intestate means that you have no will, and your estate will have to be settled in accordance with state law.

In a simple will, you will want to include a few different pieces of information including:

  • Who you are
  • Which beneficiaries you’d like to name
  • Who you’d like to appoint as an executor (with a second person to appoint if the first is unavailable)
  • Directions for taking care of your children or adult dependents if you can no longer be there for them
  • How you’d like to distribute the assets that make up your estate

Remember, your will should be written. Most courts would prefer that it’s typewritten and witnessed by several people (your attorney will tell you how many need to be present) who do not stand to inherit anything from the will. These disinterested parties can then speak on your behalf if there are questions about you signing the will in the future.

When you speak with your attorney, your attorney will give you more information on what you need to include in your will and how to make sure your will is valid if you pass away. You’ll need to take steps to identify all your assets that you’d like to distribute and may need time to think about who you’d like to appoint as a guardian for your child or even for a pet. All of this is information your attorney will discuss with you.