A will, also referred to as a Last Will & Testament, is an essential component of estate planning. A will is a legal document that dictates your requests concerning the administration of your assets, debts, and custody of any minor children after death. Without a will, the state you live in will distribute your assets to your beneficiaries based on current local legislation. Furthermore, your inheritors will spend significant time, money, and emotional energy while trying to resolve your matters if a will is not present.

The contents of a will usually contain the following:

  • Selection of an executor, who manages the arrangements of the will.
  • Explanation of how your debts and funeral expenses are to be paid.
  • Naming a guardian for minor children.
  • A residuary clause that allows you to bequest any remaining property to a specific beneficiary.

The executor is the person named in the will, or designated by the court of law, who is permitted the legal authority to maintain a deceased person’s remaining assets and financial commitments.

An executor’s duties mostly include:

  • Administering assets as stated in the will
  • Maintaining property until the estate is resolved
  • Paying bills for the estate
  • Paying taxes on the estate
  • Attending court appearances for the estate

Beneficiaries are the individuals who will receive your assets. It’s important to name your beneficiaries to guarantee your assets are distributed as you’d wish. If beneficiaries are unnamed in your will, your assets could possibly be divided through the probate process. Although the probate process varies in different states, it is likely that a stranger will ultimately make decisions regarding your assets. Your assets may be divided amongst all living relatives, including ex‐spouses.

There are four ways your beneficiaries can obtain assets:

  • Outright distributions
  • Staggered distributions
  • Discretionary distributions
  • Guardians for any minors

If your current situation calls for drafting a will, our office can draft one that meets your specific needs and requests.