Having a proper estate plan (which includes a Will, Revocable Trust, Durable Power of Attorney, and Advance Health Care Directive) enables you to: (i) have greater control over your assets; (ii) leave behind a plan for your loved ones to follow; and (iii) reduce your estate-related court costs and attorney’s fees. If you do not create a Will, the disposition of your estate will be handled according to the State's default rules for intestate succession, which may or may not align to your wishes.
A Will should be part of every estate plan. A Will is a document that contains instructions on the disposition of your tangible property (cars, furniture, and belongings), intangible property (bank, investment, and retirement accounts) and real estate. If you own real estate, your Will should be accompanied by a Revocable Trust to avoid probate costs.
If you have a Will and do not have a Trust, your estate may still require a probate court proceeding if you own real estate or if your net estate value is above $100,000. By creating a Will, you can: (i) nominate a legal guardian for your minor children; (ii) direct the distribution of your assets; and (iii) opt out of the State’s default rules for intestate succession.
A Will is very important for those who have minor children because you can nominate a legal guardian in your Will to care for your children upon your death. If you die without a Will that nominates a guardian for your minor children, a probate court judge will appoint someone to serve as your children's guardian without your input.
If you have questions about your estate plan or would like us to prepare a Will for you, call us at 801-447-5577.