Creating your will might be the last thing you feel like doing, but it’s an important part of ensuring that your wishes are respected and your family is protected in the event of your death. It’s not morbid— it’s responsible. Whether your will is short and sweet or incredibly complex, finding an experienced attorney who can walk you through the process is key.
You might think, “My estate isn’t complicated— I don’t need a will!” Unfortunately, that’s not the case. A will can ensure that your estate, regardless of its size, is handled smoothly in the event of your death. You want to protect your grieving family from the pain and inconvenience of attempting to intuit your wishes after you’re gone. A simple will can be completed in minutes; there’s no excuse to continue avoiding it. Here are just a few things you need to know before you start your will.
Typically, a joint will refers to a will that’s executed by a married couple, but it can actually refer to any will that combines two people's’ last will and testament, married or no. The entire estate will go to the surviving member of the partnership, and when that person passes away, it will typically go to their children.
If you should become incapacitated and cannot express your wishes about life support, a living will shares your refusal of, or desire for, medical treatment. If you should be stricken with a terminal illness, an injury, or a permanent state of unconsciousness, your living will communicates your preferences for you.
This will basically acts as a safety device that ensures any assets that weren’t included in your living trust are captured. Living trusts are used as a method of helping your heirs avoid probate, and if there are assets that were not included in the trust, but should have been, the pour over will helps ensure your heirs aren’t penalized.
You might think that a will and a trust are interchangeable, but that’s not the case. They’re both part of a complete estate plan, but they serve very different purposes. To learn more about the differences between a will and a trust, keep reading.