Planning the future for your loved ones

The Last Will

Dying without a Will – Laws of Intestate Succession

As has been stressed, you should have a will before you pass on. So, what are the consequences if you don’t. Simply that everything about the fate of your estate is out of your hands and your assets are distributed to your next of kin, i.e. your closest family members, even if that is not […]

Updating Your Will

Creating your will is only half the battle, you must keep it up to date with any changes that will affect it. You may only need to change or add a few things or need to make major changes. Only you can do this; your Power of Attorney or Executor cannot. While there are many […]

Guardians/Conservators

After you are gone there may be minor children or other dependents, such as disabled or cognitively impaired adults, that still need to be cared for and supervised. To do this you will need to choose a legal guardian for them and include this in your will. You may choose multiple guardians, such as a […]

Will Options for Couples

While an individual will gives you complete control of your wishes after you die, for committed couples creating two wills can sometimes be an expensive process. There are other forms of wills that you and your partner can consider if each of you want the same thing after your death, i.e. passing your combined estate […]

Contesting Your Will

If you have considered everything carefully, have your will just the way you want it, and keep it up to date, can you be sure everything is done according to your wishes after you die? Not really, but there are two additional ways to improve your chances As we’ve seen above, the primary way is […]

Your Executor/Personal Representative

The executor is the person you name to settle your will according to your directions. Your executor is entitled to a fee for their role in closing out your estate, but are not entitled to proceeds from the sale of the property of your estate. Many states mandate this fee and some states even govern […]

What Should be Included in a Will

The content of your last will and testament usually depends on your personal and financial situation and should include ALL of your assets. Any remaining assets will be managed by the probate court, so you may want to consider a residuary or “leftovers” clause to prevent this. It may be as simple as “I leave […]

Doing it Yourself

Attorneys and other estate planners do not come cheaply, so when it comes time to make your last will and testament, can you go it alone? While doing it yourself may be the fastest, easiest, and least expensive option, at least if your estate is very simple. Even in this case, it is best to […]

Last Will and Testament

The last will and testament is a major part of an estate plan and will ensure that the estate is settled according to your wishes. While there are other steps in estate planning, the will is the primary document to guide the process of settling an estate. You may also use your will to express […]

What Should Not be Included in a Will

Spoken-for Property Property that shouldn’t be included in your will is any that is not owned solely by you or is already spoken for upon your death. There is considerable overlap between this list and the non-probate assets list. The most common examples of this property include the following: Property held with rights of survivorship, […]

Limitations of Wills

While your will legally allows you to protect certain personal assets and specify your wishes after you die, there are certain things you won’t be able to do with your will. There are some practical limitations, but the primary drawback is that the content of your will is subject to federal and state laws and […]