What type of will do you need?
Have you thought about whether your property be distributed in accordance with your vision for the future?
Without a will your affairs will be wrapped up and property and belongings will be distributed by the Probate Court Judge. State law sets out rules for how an estate is wrapped up and property is distributed. The Judge will name a person to step in to do the job of wrapping up your affairs and distributing your property in accordance with state law.
You can control many aspects of how your estate is wrapped up and property is distributed by creating a Will. Wills, commonly referred to as a Last Will and Testament, are drafted to instruct your Personal Representative on how to distribute your property. There are several general types of Wills. What type is best for you will depend upon your goals.
A simple, straight forward will identifies who you want to take care of wrapping up your affairs after your death. This person is called the Personal Representative, or in some states, the Executor if male, or Executrix if female. This person wraps up your personal affairs and distributes your property like you specify in your Will. There is one exception, however, the Personal Representative also must be certain that State rules also are followed. An attorney drafting your Simple Will can help you draft a Will that is in accordance with your goals and also in accordance with what the State rules require for wrapping up an estate and distributing your property and belongings.
Simple Will with a Testamentary Trust
If you have decided that some or all of your property should be distributed to someone or several persons in a trust rather that simply given to them outright, your Will will have in it something called a Testamentary Trust. Depending upon your goals, it may include several Testamentary Trusts. This part of the Will directs the Personal Representative to place the property in the Testamentary Trust, to be managed by a person you name, called the Trustee. The Trustee will take care of the trust and hold the property for whoever you named should receive the property and distribute the property according to your directions. This is commonly used to hold property for children until they reach a certain age.
Pour Over Will
If you have decided that your property should be placed in a Revocable Living Trust, where it will be held and managed during your lifetime, your Simple Will is drafted to provide that certain property will “pour over” into the Revocable Living Trust and will be handled according to the provisions in the Revocable Living Trust document by the Trustee of the Living Trust. This is commonly used when there is an existing Revocable Family Trust that will continue as it had been.