A will is a legal document that outlines how you would like your possessions to be distributed after you die. Many people assume that they do not need to create a will because they do not have many assets, but everyone can benefit from having a will. Without a will, the state will decide how to distribute your possessions, which may not align with your wishes. Creating a will is also important if you have young children, as it allows you to appoint a guardian for them. However, writing a will is not as simple as outlining your wishes. There are several technical requirements that must be met in order for the will to be valid. As a result, it is advisable to seek legal assistance when creating a will.
This blog post provides an overview of the basics of wills, but it is not intended to replace professional legal advice. For legal advice based on your specific circumstances, reach out to Salmon Creek Law Offices.
What Is a Will?
A will is a legal document that outlines your wishes for how your property and possessions will be distributed after your death. You can use a will to specify who you want to inherit your assets, appoint a guardian for minor children, create trusts for children or grandchildren or for beneficiaries with special needs, and designate an executor to carry out your wishes. While it is not required to have a will, it can be a helpful tool for ensuring that your belongings go to the people or causes that you care about. Without a will, state laws will determine how your property is divided, which may not align with your wishes. Creating a will gives you peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of according to your wishes.
The Different Types of Wills
There are several different types of wills, each with its own advantages.
A simple will is the standard type of will used in estate planning. The process of making a simple will involves deciding where your assets will go and naming guardians for your children. A simple will allows you to control what happens to your property after you die. You can use a simple will to:
- Leave specific instructions about what should happen to your property
- Name an executor to carry out your wishes
- Name guardians for your minor children
A simple will is a legally binding document, so it’s important to ensure it’s prepared correctly. You should consult with an attorney to ensure that your will is valid and meets all legal requirements.
Testamentary Trust Will
A testamentary trust will is a type of Will that creates a trust at the death of the testator that is set up to provide for beneficiaries.. With this type of trust, assets are placed into a separate account that is managed by a trustee. The trustee is responsible for distributing the assets to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the trust. One common use for a testamentary trust will is to provide for minor children. The trustee can be given the discretion to distribute assets to the children as they reach certain milestones, such as finishing college or getting married. This type of trust can also be used to prevent beneficiaries from squandering their inheritance. By distributing assets over time, the beneficiary is less likely to blow through their inheritance in one spending spree. Testamentary trust wills can be an effective way to provide for loved ones after death.
A living will, Also referred to as a healthcare directive, or an advanced medical directive is a legal document that allows you to Direct your end-of-life wishes. Many people do not want extraordinary measures to keep them alive if they are in a coma that they have no medical probability of coming out of, or if they are at The end of a terminal illness. It is important to note that a living will only take effect if you are unable to communicate your own wishes. As long as you are able to express your preferences, your living will have no bearing on the decisions that are made for you. Your living will in essence gives direction to your power of attorney for healthcare regarding your end-of-life decisions.
Salmon Creek Law Offices
Salmon Creek Law Offices provides wills and estate planning services to clients in Battle Ground and the surrounding Vancouver, WA, area. Trent Kunz and Marissa Bartolucci are experienced estate planning attorneys. They can help you create a comprehensive plan that will protect your minor children and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Trent and Marissa will work with you to create a customized plan that considers your unique circumstances and incorporates and implements your goals.
Our firm is dedicated to providing individualized services and attention to each and every client. Trent and Marissa will make sure that your rights and interests are protected and that your estate is handled in accordance with your wishes. Call Salmon Creek Law Offices today to schedule a consultation.
Our firm offers the following legal services:
- Revocable Trusts
- Estate Planning
- Business Formation
- Trust Administration
- Business Law
This is part 1 out of a 2 part series blog post. Check back soon to learn more about trusts and how they differ from a will.