A will is a simple legal document that states who will inherit your assets after you die. Also called a “last will and testament,” a will is essentially an outline of your final wishes. It communicates to your spouse or another beneficiary who should care for your minor children how you would like your assets distributed—and to whom—as well as any special considerations regarding funeral arrangements or other end-of-life requests.
There are four main types of wills: a simple, testamentary trust, joint, and living will. Trusted legal counsel for estate planning wills can help you determine your current situation’s best will or multiple wills.
A vital estate planning tool will give you peace of mind that your assets and wishes will be honored when you’re gone or if you become incapacitated and cannot speak for yourself.
Does Everyone Need a Will?
Most people over 18 should consider protecting themselves with a will. If you are married, have kids, and are starting to accrue more assets, preserving what you’ve built and passing it on to your family when you die is essential.
If you die without a will, those wishes may not be fulfilled, and the court can decide where your assets should go. In addition, your rightful heirs will likely get caught in probate court and have to spend money, time, and energy trying to settle your affairs on your behalf. This can be an emotional and financially draining process.
With a will, you can be clear about who receives your assets—and who should not—and identify the right people to care for your children. You can also give gifts and charitable donations.
What Should I Include in a Will?
A will should be clear and direct. It should include:
- Basic personal information
- A letter of intent
- The language that declares testamentary intent
- An appointed executor whom you trust
- An appointed guardian
- A list of property and beneficiaries
- Two valid witnesses upon signature
It would help if you were of sound mind when creating a will so that family members or estranged relatives cannot try to contest your will in court. An attorney can help you create a will and include the correct legal language and directives.
How Can an Attorney Help Me?
Figuring out where to start with estate planning is often the most challenging part. Our attorneys can help ease the burden.
Creating and managing a will is an important step. Our attorneys will review your goals, gather the most critical information, and help you draft a will according to your wishes. With this, we will consider other legal tools such as a trust to help your family avoid probate court and other legal hassles.
Our attorneys also can help you review your will and estate plan every few years or as any pivotal or life-changing events happen. These legal documents are meant to be flexible to change with life.
Protect your future and book a call with our attorneys today: (516) 809-7735.