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A Will sets forth your wishes about how your assets are to be distributed after your death. It can be your legacy to your family, friends, and loved ones–and it’s one legal document that cannot be changed after you pass.

Our team will work with you to make sure that this vitally important document is designed to meet your personal wishes and done without error from a legal standpoint.

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Your Questions Answered

  • A Will is a document that sets forth your wishes about how your assets are to be distributed after your death. It is called your Last Will and Testament.

    It must conform to all requirements of the law. It must be executed with all the formality required by law. The requirements of law in each state may be different.

    It is important that you have a competent lawyer prepare your Last Will and Testament. It is one document that cannot be changed once it becomes effective, i.e., after your death. It is extremely important that it is done correctly.

    Your Last Will and Testament is often the last important document you leave. It can create a legacy. It can create history. Many people do not know that the Nobel Prizes for Peace, Science, Literature, etc. were created by the Last Will and Testament of Alfred Nobel.

    Your Last Will and Testament can be your legacy to your family, friends and loved ones. It can tell them how you feel about them and what you want to leave for them. It can be an expression of your love and care. You should be sure it is exactly what you want and is legally sufficient.

  • Without your personal Last Will and Testament, the state law of intestacy determines who gets what from you and who is in charge. Often it is not what you would have wanted.

    Avoid family dissension and confusion. So many families fall apart after the death of a loved one. People stop speaking to each other.  When there is no Will, the law decides who gets what from the decedent’s estate. Fights break out among family members, often created by spouses of persons outside of the immediate family. You can avoid all that by having a valid, clear Last Will and Testament prepared by a competent lawyer.

    Identify who is the best person to put in charge (i.e., be your Personal Representative or Executor). They protect your assets during probate and distribute them as you direct.

    Decide who gets what otherwise the law of intestacy will. Be clear. These are your last wishes. Make them as you want them to be. Distribute your assets among your family and friends as you want. Protect those that need protecting. If you have minors or elders that need their shares to be protected, you can create a testamentary trust for their shares.

    Give to family, godchildren, friends, schools, churches and other charities if you want. Make gifts to them in your Will.

    Consult a good lawyer about creating your Will and about tax liabilities. Make sure you find out if there is an expected tax liability on your estate and take advantage of the numerous ways to minimize if not eliminate taxes on your estate. Charitable gifts can help with that.

    Wills are important. Make sure your Last Will and Testament has all the necessary clauses and conforms to the requirements of local law. Please do not use a form from a book or off the internet that may not be appropriate for you, your family situation and/or your property. Each state has specific laws and requirements about Wills and their execution. Make sure your Last Will and Testament meets your needs.

  • Many people ask the difference between a “Will,” a “Living Will,” and a “Living Trust.” Are they the same? How do they compare with each other?

    A “Will,” more formally known as a “Last Will and Testament,” states how property is to be distributed at death. It directs the transfer of property in the probate estate from a person who is dead to the beneficiaries named in the Will. It must have certain important clauses and be executed according to local law.

    A “Living Will” tells whether a person wants to be kept alive by life-sustaining procedures if they are in a terminal physical condition. It may be part of a durable power of attorney for health care. Certain jurisdictions have specific laws governing these documents. It is one of several important documents when preparing for disability.

    A “Living Trust” is a revocable trust that is created and funded during the life of a person. Legal titles to the properties involved must be transferred to the trust. If the creator of the trust (the settlor or grantor) becomes incompetent, the successor trustee can manage the properties held in the trust for the benefit of the incompetent. A Living Trust is an excellent way to protect oneself in the event of sickness. You appoint a person you know who is honest, trustworthy, and competent. It must be properly established and fully funded.

    Obtain the services of a competent lawyer who is familiar with the local law where you live and able to prepare these documents for you.

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