While everyone knows the important of having a Will, about 70% of Americans still haven’t created one. But before you start drafting, you should know that different Wills do different things.
A Simple Will for example, covers your basic necessities, such as provisions for your children and distribution of assets. There are templates available on the internet but because estate planning can get complex very quickly, it’s best to have a qualified estate planning attorney draft your Will for you. If you’re under 50 and have a small estate, a simple will is probably the best option.
A Testamentary Trust Will is a document that creates a trust upon your death and transfers property to it. The trust is then responsible for managing and distributing the assets it holds.
If you have a Living Trust, you probably have a different type of Will, known as a Pour-Over Will. This type of document is designed to simply transfer any property not held by the trust to the trust upon your death. It should be noted that although property held by a Living Trust is not subject to probate, any property transferred to the trust by your Pour Over Will must still go through the probate process.
Living wills differ from other types of wills. This document is used to create a plan for what sort of medical treatment you want to receive in the event of an accident or disability and to lay out your end-of-life choices, such as a do not resuscitate order. A living will does not automatically give someone else durable power of attorney, so you might want to also draft a legal document designating someone close to you as the person who will implement your wishes if you are unable to articulate them.
So what documents do you need for your estate plan? That will depend upon the complexities of your estate. Contact our office today to start building your estate plan.