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A will should be specific to your unique case

Many people assume that a will is a cookie-cutter document, something that works the same way for everyone.

Who do you want to get the house? What about the contents of your bank account? Who gets the car?

It's not that these aren't important questions, but they don't go far enough. No two people are the same. No two situations are exactly the same. Your estate planing may not be effective if it follows the same cookie-cutter model. It needs to be designed specifically for you.

This is true even if someone else used a certain method and it worked well. Just because a family member's plan was right for him or her doesn't mean it's right for you.

There are just too many variables. For instance, maybe you have two kids. Your family member had none. You may want to consider things like educational trusts to pay for the children's college or picking a guardian if the kids are still minors. These are huge, important aspects of your estate planning that make it vastly different and unique.

Other things to consider include:

  • State laws in Arizona.
  • Tax implications.
  • Business interests.
  • Giving to charity.
  • Whether or not a spouse is still living.
  • Giving to grandchildren.
  • Pets.
  • Property other than the home, such as a business property or a vacation home.

These are just a handful of examples. Maybe some of them don't apply to you at all. However, that just helps to show you why estate planning and writing a will is something that everyone must do with careful consideration of their own unique circumstances.

Source: The Balance, "Should You Write Your Own Will?," accessed Jan. 05, 2018

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