Most of us require only a “simple will” to address our wishes at the time of our death. However, the decision of which estate planning tool to utilize should never be made without the assistance of a qualified attorney. Each situation is unique and requires careful analysis. Creating a “simple will” is a very straightforward undertaking. Usually with a 30 minute meeting our lawyers can address your concerns and develop a simple, logical plan for distributing your assets. We will also address concerns about any minor children (children under the age of 18) including who will raise them and manage their finances in case of your absence. If you do not clearly indicate who you want to raise your children and manage their finances in case of your absence, court intervention could be required. This intervention will generally become a very expensive endeavor which will be paid for, in most cases, by the assets you left your children. A simple will solves this problem in a cost efficient manner.
When planning to come see us to draft your Will, think about the following items:
- Who will be your “Personal Representative?” This is the person who will be in charge of your assets while they are being transferred to the individuals or organizations of your choosing. This should be someone you trust. Typically, a husband and wife will be named for each other as the Personal Representative and then a alternate name is provided in case the spouse is unable to serve as the Personal Representative.
- Who will by your “Trustee?” This is the person that will manage your children’s money for them when they are young. You will direct the Trustee to a certain extent within the provisions of your Will.
- Who will be your children’s “Guardian?” This is the person or people who will raise your children in your absence.
- Who will receive your assets?
- How will you divide your assets?
- Are there any special gifts you would like to give of certain items, such as family heirlooms.
- Do you have retirement accounts or life insurance with beneficiary designations? Are you satisfied with those designations?
- Would you like to execute an Advanced Directive for Health Care?
- Would you like to execute a Power of Attorney?