Sigman Janssen Legal Blog

How to Begin the Process of Estate Planning

February 07, 2013

Feb. 7, 2013

Data shows that more than half of Americans do not have a will in place in case they unexpectedly pass away. Failing to properly lay out a plan for an estate can often lead to family disputes and heated court battles.

Many people do not begin the process of Financial and Estate Planning simply because they don’t know where to start. A page from the U.S. government’s website offers a simple step-by-step plan to getting such a plan organized.

The first step in the process is drafting a will stating how you would like your property to be divided. However, there are certain restrictions that must be followed when creating this document. A person must be over the age of 18-years-old in most states. They must also be of sound mind when the document is drafted, and must clearly state it is their will. Also, the document must be notarized, and it’s signing must be observed by two witnesses.

An executor of the will must be named, and that person is in charge of ensuring property is distributed as the deceased wished. They are responsible for an inventory of assets and distribution of property, but must also settle all debts and taxes owed by the individual who passed.

The Wisconsin Personal Injury Lawyers with Sigman, Janssen, Stack, Sewall & Pitz explain there are numerous other aspects of the will and estate planning and encourage anyone considering drafting such documents to contact an attorney.