LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
You will need to name a personal representative to carry out your wishes and distribute your assets as you see fit, if you are married you will likely name your spouse and select an alternate to serve if they are unable. In Washington you don’t even have to distribute all of your property in a Will! You can reference what is called a “bequest by list” and distribute your father’s stamp collection, your prized trophy from badminton, etc. to whomever you put on that list.
Make sure all of the beneficiary designations on your accounts in which you named a beneficiary are correct...think life insurance policies, your retirement plans, your 401(k), 403(b), 457 plans, GET accounts, bank accounts, IRAs, online brokerage accounts, etc. This is so important! I have witnessed people’s jaws dropping when they realized the person named as the beneficiary on their life insurance policy they bought in 1998 was still the ex-boyfriend. Obtaining actual copies of the beneficiary designations for each account and reviewing them with your attorney is the best way to protect your heirs from costly probate litigation that will likely result if you do not have the proper beneficiary designation.