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Documents Required When Creating a Will

Estate Planning Lawyer

The decision to create a will is highly personal and a wise choice if you have many beneficiaries you want to provide for after you pass. While the idea of making a will may feel overwhelming, it may be simpler than you think and provide you with peace of mind for the future. Before you begin or seek out an attorney’s assistance, there are a few documents you may want to gather in preparation first. 

1. Birth and Death Certificates 

Including these documents assists the creation of a will in several ways. Your birth certificate verifies your identity and the death certificate of a spouse, adult or parent can provide proof of the death and that any property they willed to you is valid, especially if you want to pass it on. If you remarried after the death of your spouse and want to name your new partner in a will, a death certificate for the deceased may help you solidify any claims made by him or her after you pass. 

2. Insurance Policies 

Any insurance policies you currently hold, either privately or through your place of employment, are an important aspect of any will. Before you submit this document to a lawyer, you may want to ensure that all the information it contains is current and correct, especially when naming the beneficiary of the policy. Your insurance carrier can provide you with any further information you might need for creating your will. 

3. Bank Account Information 

Checking, savings and other bank account information can help you sort out your finances and assist you with making decisions when it comes to naming beneficiaries. You can split the funds among two or more people or name your favorite charity if you wish to leave it a gift. The information may be helpful when the will goes through probate, as it may prevent delays. 

4. Property Deeds 

The transfer of real estate ownership can be tricky, especially when the owner is no longer living and the probate courts, which handle the distribution of assets and items, will require proof that you legally owned any property named in your will. If you own any property with a partner or spouse, he or she may have to provide additional information, especially if you both want the property to pass to someone else in the family. 

Providing documents related to a will can be a puzzling process, but you do not have to face it alone. An estate planning lawyer can guide you through the process and ensure your will holds up in a court of law. 

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