What Does A Will Attorney Do?

When folks imagine working with a will attorney, they frequently picture creating a document outlining what will become of their estate. This is certainly one of many normally provided will attorney services, but there's a lot more to the job than just that. This blog examines four other things covered by will attorneys.

Tracking Down Beneficiaries

When you name beneficiaries in a will, you'll want to make sure those folks can be found. This may seem like a simple thing, especially in the age of social media, but people drift apart faster than you might guess. It's a good idea, for example, to verify that a beneficiary is still alive. In cases involving organizations like charities named as beneficiaries, you'll also want to confirm the group is still operating. Nothing can trigger a big estate battle quite like a large chunk of money that can't be claimed, so track beneficiaries down through your will attorney and make an annual effort to update their contact info.

Amending an Existing Will

Another potential source of contention is when a will has been amended. You want the process to be done as cleanly as possible to ensure your will is going to be followed. Every revision should be reviewed by your lawyer and properly witnessed.

Addressing Medical Issues

While people typically think of wills being about death, they also can cover questions of incapacitation. In particular, you'll want to make sure your wishes are followed in terms of medical treatment. This is especially true if you have religious, moral, or personal grounds for avoiding certain types of treatment. In the absence of a clearly written legal document, doctors may be required to take measures you'd find unacceptable.

Incapacitation concerns extend beyond the medical realm. If you have rights in a business,you'll want to have a proxy named who can exercise your rights on your behalf until you recover.


When someone names a beneficiary in a will, they want that person to get value and enjoyment out of what they receive. To ensure this is how things land, you need to fund your estate in a way that will fully settle any outstanding debts and taxes. Creditors and governments get to assert claims against an estate, and you'll want to provide more than enough money to satisfy them. If possible, try to include enough money to cover taxes on received estate items, too.