How Specific Does My Will Need To Be?

When working on your Will, you definitely want to meet with an  estate planning attorney. In the meantime, however, here are some pointers on estate planning for your family.

  • You can make a letter of instruction 

A letter of instruction can be much less formal in its language than the actual Will, and this is where you can request specifics. Which people should receive which specific belongings? Where do you want to be buried? Do you want to be cremated? What are your account numbers?

You can then keep this letter of instruction with your Will.

  • You should update the document 

Every three to five years, you likely want to update your Will just to make sure everything is in order, and that your instructions are how you intend them to be. The only relevant version of your Will at the time of your death is the most current one which is properly signed.

  • You should have a few copies 

You will want to leave a copy of your Will, or even the original, with your Cincinnati estate planning attorney. You should also consider having a signed copy in a fireproof and waterproof safe in your house. Having one in a bank’s safe deposit box is smart as well, but your family may have difficult accessing that safe deposit box after your departure, and could need to obtain a court order to get in.

  • You should name guardians for your minor children 

For minors listed in your Will, you will want to name guardians for them. Once they become adults, you will want to remove mention of those guardians in your Will, but until then, you should have those noted. If you have a dependent in your Will that has a disability, whether that person is a minor or an adult, you may want to identify a guardian to assist that person, as well as consider other planning options such as a Supplemental Services Trust or Special Needs Trust.

Please contact Donnellon, Donnellon, & Miller, and we can have a Cincinnati estate planning attorney work with you to make your Will official and legally binding. You can reach us, day or night, at 513-891-7087.

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