You need the following information to prepare your will, note that you and your spouse both need to provide this information separately:
- Your Name and address;
- List of beneficiaries and alternate beneficiaries and their relationship to you;
- List of specific bequests – list of assets that you want to leave to specific individuals other than your spouse;
- List of general bequests if any;
- Executor (male) or executrix (female) and their relationship to you;
- Alternate executor or executrix and their relationship to you;
- Guardian to raise children under 18 years of age and their relationship to you;
- Alternate guardian to raise children under 18 years of age;
- Custodian to watch over children assets until they are 25 years old or any age you designate and their relationship to you;
- Alternate custodian to watch over children assets;
- The name of the cemetery you wanted to buried in or if you want to be cremated.
- List of all assets including all real estate, stocks, bonds, IRA’s Annuities, etc.
How to Select Your Health Care Agent or Surrogate
When you decide to pick someone to speak for you in a medical crisis, in case you are not able to speak for yourself, there are several things to think about. This tool will help you decide who the best person is. Usually it is best to name one person or agent to serve at a time, with at least one successor, or back-up person, in case the first person is not available when needed.
The persons best suited to be your Health Care Agents or Surrogate rate well on these qualifications …
- Meets the legal criteria in your state for acting as agent or proxy or representative
- Would be willing to speak on your behalf.
- Would be able to act on your wishes and separate his/her own feelings from yours.
- Lives close by or could travel to be at your side if needed.
- Knows you well and understands what’s important to you.
- Could handle the responsibility.
- Will talk with you now about sensitive issues and will listen to your wishes.
- Will likely be available long into the future.
- Would be able to handle conflicting opinions between family members, friends, and medical personnel.
- Can be a strong advocate in the face of an unresponsive doctor or institution.
The person you choose to make health care decisions for you is known by different names in different states. This person is sometimes called a health care agent, proxy, representative, attorney-in-fact, surrogate, or even patient advocate. State rules for who may be a health care surrogates vary, but the most common groups disqualified are these:
- Anyone under age 18.
- Your health care provider, including the owner or operator of a health or residential or community care facility serving you — unless this person is your spouse or close relative.
- An employee of your health care provider — unless this person is your spouse or close relative.
- Talk to your surrogate or agent about the qualifications on the first page of this worksheet.
- Ask permission to name him or her as your agent or surrogate.
- Discuss your health care wishes and values and fears.
- Make sure your agent gets an original copy of your advance directive.
- Tell family members and close friends who you picked.