Whether or not your estate goes through Probate, a Will is a way to let your wishes be known to your loved ones. A Will is an estate planning tool that contains instructions on how you wish your estate and other affairs to be handled when you pass away. These instructions may include the appointment of particular people for specific purposes and a specific plan for the distribution of your assets.
A Will generally names who you wish to act as the Personal Representative of your estate. The Personal Representative is the person that administers your estate by identifying assets, paying creditors, and distributing your sentimental and other items to Beneficiaries.
If you have minor children, you can name who you wish to act as a Guardian. A Guardian is a person that will care for your minor children after you pass away. You can also leave special instructions to the Guardian or take other advanced estate planning steps such as setting up a testamentary trust for the benefit of your children.
Distribution of Assets
Many of us have property that we want to pass on to the next generation. Some items may be personal property that holds sentimental value such as a wedding band or other family heirloom. Other property may be real estate that holds a high cash value. Your Will gives your Personal Representative and your family instructions about who will take on the responsibility of ownership when you pass away.
You should have a Will to inform your family of your wishes. The alternative to a Will are the laws of Intestacy which is the government's predetermined plan of distribution.
Disclaimer: Do not rely on the above information as legal advice. This information does not create an attorney-client relationship. This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be legal advice. You should seek legal counsel from an attorney when approaching an Estate Planning issue to be sure you have a well thought out and integrated plan to achieve your goals. Past results do not guarantee future results.
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