Q&A: Meeting With an Attorney To Create Your Will
Should I have an attorney draw up my will? Yes. Even though it's not required by law, it is to your advantage to employ an attorney who specializes in estate planning. This way you can be sure that your will complies with the laws in your state and that you're making the best decisions when it comes to distributing your assets.
Do I need to know what I want my will to say before we meet? No. Your attorney will ask you questions to help you identify your estate planning priorities and objectives. It will help, however, if you think about the important people and charities you want to include. He or she will also tell you about the estate planning process, the impact of taxes and how probate—the legal procedure by which the judicial system certifies that your estate is properly distributed—works in your state. He or she will also answer other questions you may have.
What documents should I bring with me to the attorney's office? Prepare a list of all your major assets and liabilities, indicating how each is titled, as well as its account number and approximate value. Include any jewelry, antiques and personal or household items of significant worth or sentimental value. Also, provide the face amounts of life insurance policies and amounts in retirement plans, along with corresponding beneficiary designations.
How much do attorneys charge for a will? Attorneys can either charge a flat fee or bill you on an hourly basis. Many offer a free or low-cost initial consultation. Keep in mind: Whatever you spend now will cost you little, compared with the tax savings and peace of mind that a professionally drafted document offers.
You can remember the University of Tennessee Foundation in your will or trust by simply adding a few lines. Just contact Woodrow "Woody" M. Henderson at (865) 974-2326 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn our official bequest language.
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The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice, please consult an attorney. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income taxes apply to federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results.