What Information is Needed to Create a Will?

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Do you or a loved one want to create a Will and want to know what information is needed? Check out this video by Estate Planning Attorney in Buffalo NY, Thomas F. Hewner for advice on what information is needed to create a will.

  • Some attorneys have people prepare questionnaires, and asset lists, but I don’t. Instead, I have the person (or people) talk about what they want, their family and their assets, and then we put a plan together.
  • Blended families can be challenging. There’s the husband with his kids, the wife with her kids – and now, what happens if one of them dies? Does everything go to the surviving spouse? We talk about varied scenarios, such as what happens if the spouse remarries and changes her will, leaving everything to her kids and omitting the spouse’s.
  • Certain techniques, such as trusts and entities, can ensure that some of your assets go from your spouse to your children because one should never rely entirely on one’s spouse to take care of your kids. The reason isn’t devious or anything. People change, so maybe you should put your children on an insurance policy or add them to an IRA account where they get assets directly. That way, they get some assets from you and, if there are other assets and your spouse doesn’t change their will, the kids will get more.
  • One’s spouse is entitled to a certain percentage of your wealth. If your will says, “I leave everything to my children,” with no prior conditions, the spouse could exercise a right of election against your estate. In prenuptial agreements, it is common for people to waive this right of election and allow each spouse to direct where their assets go. Otherwise, your spouse can make a claim against your estate.

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