Wills

A will is the method by which you tell others what you want done with your property after you have passed away. If no will is found, property passes according to the intestate succession statute of the state where you last resided. A will should answer the questions of:

  • What do I want to have happen to my remains?
  • Who should receive my assets? You should then consider what happens to your assets if one of the individuals you are leaving the assets to dies before you. You are paying for an estate plan; it should be flexible enough to last a lifetime.
  • What if there are minors or an individual with a drug problem or other reason(s) to not allow that person control over the property for a period of time? With a well-drafted will containing a testamentary trust you can determine at what age a child should receive assets, what uses those assets can be put to and what if any requirements should be placed on the individual before he or she receives the funds. The trustee can hold the funds for many years and only distribute them for the reasons you think appropriate.
  • Who do you wish to serve as the guardian for your children if neither parent is available to care for them?
  • Who do you want to serve as personal representative? This is the person who gathers the assets, pays the creditors and distributes the assets according to your direction in the will.
  • Who will serve as trustee if you have a testamentary trust?
  • Do you want your personal representative to have to post a bond?

You have worked hard to generate the assets you own; make sure those assets are distributed in the way you think best once you have passed.