Five Things You Should Know About Making Your District of Columbia Last Will and Testament
Under District of Columbia law, if you are making your District of Columbia last will and testament you should decide the following five things in advance:
First, you need to determine who your beneficiaries will be.
Your District of Columbia last will and testament should clearly state who your beneficiaries are. While most states require your spouse to be included as a beneficiary among your children, grandchildren, and other family members, in the District of Columbia, you are free to include or exclude whomever you choose in your District of Columbia will. You can also name a charity, such as your church or a local shelter, as a beneficiary.
Second, you should determine what property each of your beneficiaries will inherit from your estate.
In making this determination, you should keep in mind your personal belongings such as jewelry, collectibles, antiques, and pets, as well as assets, such as bank accounts, stocks and bonds, and real estate. Your will should clearly identify what property you would like each of your beneficiaries to inherit. In the alternative, you can specify what percentage of your estate you would like each of your beneficiaries to receive.
Third, you need to nominate a guardian to be responsible for taking care of your minor children until they become adults.
In the District of Columbia, if you do not designate a guardian for your minor children you may run the risk that custody of your children may be determined by the District of Columbia court.
Fourth, you need to decide what will happen to your remains after your death.
Under the District of Columbia law, you can specify whether you would like to be cremated, buried, or allow your family to make the decision for you.
Fifth, you need to appoint someone to be the executor/personal representative of your District of Columbia estate.
An executor is a person you nominate to be in charge of settling your final affairs, such as paying bills and taxes, administering your probate estate, and carrying out your last wishes. In the District of Columbia, your executor is also responsible for addressing any challenges that might be filed to contest the terms of your estate.
Once you make these crucial decisions, contact us to prepare your District of Columbia last will and testament.
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