What You Must Know About Wills
This page explains the importance of having a Will.
Do I need a Will?
If you are over the age of 18, and you have property that you want to leave to someone in particular, you need a Will. Regardless of the size of your estate, it is critical that you have at least a simple Will. By executing a valid Will, you will have control over who gets your property and in what proportions, who will manage your affairs as executor, and who will serve as the Guardian of your minor children, if any.
What happens if I die without a Will?
Without a Will, State law determines how your assets will be distributed. The State’s default plan for you could conflict with your wishes to
benefit your parents, brothers, sisters and/or grandchildren. That plan could also conflict with your wishes to donate to a charity or provide
for your partner or friend. Additionally, without a Will, you lose control over who is responsible for managing your estate; the Court will appoint an “administrator.” Finally, without a Will, it is more costly to administer your estate; that’s because State law requires that
your administrator purchase a surety bond, which is paid out of assets of the estate. A Will typically waives the surety bond, thereby savings money.
Is probate avoided with a will?
No. A Will guarantees probate. Probate can only be avoided through the use of a Living Trust.
Besides a Will, what else do I need?
When you establish your Will, it is important to also execute a Power of Attorney for Property and a Power of Attorney for Health Care . You also might want to sign a Living Will . Finally, if you want your estate to bypass the probate process, you should execute a Trust at the same time you execute your Will.
During your initial consultation, I will advise you of your estate planning alternatives – in light of your particular circumstances. If you
decide that a custom Will-based plan is best for your planning goals, you will be provided all of the following documents and services for a
guaranteed flat-rate fee:
- Durable Power of Attorney for Property
- Power of Attorney for Health Care
- Living Will
- Necessary Consultations and Attorney Letters
- Meeting to Review First Drafts
- One Revision of First Drafts
- Signing Ceremony
- Estate Organizer
- Clear Instructions for Wrapping-up the Planning Process