Simple Wills

“Planning is a process of choosing among those many options. If we do not choose to plan, then we choose to have others plan for us.”

- R. Winwood

WILLS

A simple will dictates who receives the property outlined in the will documents when you pass. Although it can serve an important function, it's important to understand whether or not it will accomplish your estate planning goals. Our attorneys can help you figure out whether a last will and testament is right for you.

What to Know About Writing a Will

There are a number of important formalities that must be met in order for a will to be properly executed, such as “testamentary capacity” and the signing of witnesses and the testator in each others’ presence. This is just one of the reasons why it is always best to have an estate planning attorney help you through this process, whether you prefer a basic will or a more comprehensive estate plan.

Once a will is written, it is not set in stone. If you want to entirely re-draft a will, you can create a new instrument which, once executed, will take effect over the old. If you’d just like to modify your will, then you can have your attorney help you draft a supplementary will document (sometimes called a “codicil”) which will replace certain parts of your existing will.

Certain actions or events can also revoke a will. Make sure that you are aware of the proper process to execute a will, and to ensure that its clear directives will be in effect after you pass. Having a confusing or improperly executed will can lead to a probate court making determinations that do not line up with your wishes.

It’s important to note that a type of will, known as a “pour-over will,” is always used in conjunction with a living trust to pick up those assets that were not transferred to the trust. We can help you determine if a will is right for your specific needs after reviewing your assets and individual situation.

A Will May Be Right For You If:

  • You don’t want to deal with extensive estate planning, but you still wish to specify who gets your property

  • You’d like to simply list the people or organizations who you will leave your assets to and the amounts you’d like them to receive

  • You know who you want to carry out the terms of your last will and testament and want to give their name

  • You want to ensure your minor children have an appointed personal guardian

  • You want to create a way to pass on digital property, including files and account access

A Will May Not Be Right For You If:

  • You don’t want your heirs to deal with probate, which can be costly and burdensome

  • You have a sizeable estate that is better served by a more comprehensive estate plan

  • The value of your estate is higher than the federal estate tax exemption amount

  • You have the assets and desire to set up a trust or multiple trusts, and want to go over the options to figure out what your larger estate plan will look like

  • You are not able to adequately construct all of your wishes within the legal instrument of the basic will

Do You Need a Lawyer to Write Your Will?

Regardless of what your estate planning needs are, it is always the best idea to speak with an  experienced advocate. Our attorneys are ready to help you with each and every step in the estate planning process. Don’t try to get through this confusing process alone and risk mistakes that can negatively affect the distribution of your assets.

We can help you structure and word your last will and testament, go over existing will documents with you to make certain that they are still in accordance with your wishes, walk you through the process of setting up a basic will, and explain how a pour-over trust works. Call us today to set up a complimentary consult at 630-665-2300 or email us at admin@trust-lawgroup.com.