Speaking informally with an attorney about what you hope to accomplish with your will may take as little as half an hour, depending on your requirements.  Here is a description of what an attorney will need to prepare your will so that you can collect this in advance of any formal consultation.

When preparing a last will and testament, bring copies of the paperwork related to your assets. These include documents like a copy of the deed to your house or other real estate, the title to your vehicles, and bank statements or other papers related to your retirement or other investments. If you own rare or valuable personal property, you may also wish to bring paperwork from an appraiser that indicates the property’s value, especially if you wish to leave specific items to a certain beneficiary.

Along with the information about your assets, you will also want to bring documents related to your major debts, if any. For instance, bring documents related to your mortgage, car loans, student loans or consumer debt. Your attorney will use this information to figure out approximately how much your net estate is worth, which will help you decide who should distribute the estate. It will also allow you to develop a clear financial picture so you can begin paying down your debts while you are still alive, allowing you to leave more assets to your beneficiaries.

Your attorney will need information about the people to whom you wish to leave your property. Typical information attorneys ask for includes information about your beneficiaries’ full names, addresses and other contact information, a Social Security number, and the birth certificate or adoption papers for any minor children you have. Bringing the documents can help ensure you and your attorney do not make a mistake.

Your executor, or personal representative, is the person responsible for managing your estate after you are gone. You may name your executor in your will. Most people choose someone close to them whom they trust, such as their spouse, an adult child or a parent or sibling. If you have minor children, you will also want to name a guardian for them in your will. When preparing your will, your attorney will need the contact information for the people you have chosen as your executor or as guardian for your children, including their names, addresses and phone numbers.

Here is a form that will help you collect everything you need for your appointment my-will form

The cost for a will could be as low as $850 for a simple will.  For a more complicated will that may include a trust the cost could be more.

This office also offers the service of reviewing an existing will form for compliance with state law.

Dena Wurman’s legal experience spans over twelve years, during which she has diligently served clients with their legal needs. Her office provides affordable services. In New York, call (646) 580-0617 for a free assessment of your case or click the contact form on this website and send a confidential message. In New Mexico call (505) 506-9434.