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What Information Should an Elderly Individual Include in Their Will?

 Posted on February 13, 2023 in Estate Planning

san antonio estate planning lawyerCreating a last will and testament is an important step in preparing for the future, and it is a crucial component of estate planning. However, for many elders, creating a will can be a difficult task due to the complexity of the process and the gravity of the decisions that need to be made. It is important to approach these issues the right way, and by fully considering the details that will be included in their will, a person can help their family avoid confusion about what they would have wanted and make sure their wishes will be followed correctly after they are gone.

Essential Information to Include in a Will

When creating a will, there are some pieces of information that will need to be included. Fully detailing all issues related to the estate of the testator (the person creating the will) can help prevent disputes between family members and ensure that all of a person's final affairs will be handled correctly. Information provided in a will may include:

  • The testator's personal information, including their name and address

  • The name and address of the executor who will oversee the probate process and carry out the instructions provided in the will

  • A detailed list of all assets owned by the testator that will be addressed during the probate process (e.g., bank accounts, real estate property, etc.)

  • Information about any debts owed by the testator (e.g., mortgages, loans, credit cards, etc.)

  • Instructions for how assets should be distributed to beneficiaries

  • Decisions about funeral arrangements and the disposition of the testator's remains (e.g., burial vs. cremation, where services are to take place, etc.). 

It is also important to note that a will should be updated regularly as circumstances change over time (e.g., when assets or beneficiaries change). It is advisable to consult with an attorney or other financial professional when drafting or amending a will. This can ensure that the will meets all legal requirements and reflects the testator's wishes accurately. 

Additional Considerations When Creating a Will 

In addition to the essential information detailed above, there are other considerations that a person may wish to account for. These may include: 

  • Making charitable donations – If the testator wishes to use some or all of their assets to support charitable causes after their death, instructions for these donations should be provided in their will.

  • Leaving instructions for digital assets – Since control of online accounts, social media profiles, and other digital assets typically cannot be transferred directly via a will, it is important to leave instructions about how these assets should be handled after the testator's death.

  • Creating trusts – Trusts allow a person to set aside money or property that will be managed by a trustee and distributed to beneficiaries at certain times or for specific purposes. A will may provide for the creation of a testamentary trust using the testator's assets, which can ensure that these assets will be used properly to provide for beneficiaries' needs.

  • Other special provisions – If the testator has any specific requests related to gifts or other items not already covered by the terms of their will (e.g., setting conditions on inheritances), these should also be noted in the will so they can be honored after the testator's death. 

Contact Our San Antonio, TX Last Will and Testament Attorneys

A well-crafted will can provide peace of mind for an elder as they prepare for their future needs and those of their family members. By including essential information and detailed instructions about how their assets and financial affairs should be handled after their death, elders can ensure that their wishes will be followed correctly. Taking the time to address these issues can provide confidence that a person's loved ones will be taken care of, no matter what happens down the road. To learn how the San Antonio estate planning lawyers of The Law Office of Ryan C. Moe, PLLC can help elders create or update wills, contact our office at 210-861-6000.


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