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Understanding Wills In Estate Planning

Understanding Wills In Estate Planning
Wills In Estate Planning

Will is known as a legal document that sets a decision for the distribution of your assets and for appointing guardians for your minor children after your death. It is advisable to work with an attorney when creating your will. 

If you are thinking of creating or updating your last will and testament, contact an estate lawyer in Ridgeland today. 

What if you die without a will? 

Cases where the decedent dies without a will, are known as intestate cases. If you die intestate, your state will distribute your assets based on its laws. This may not be the result you prefer, so it is essential to have a will that clearly states your wishes. 

What to include in a will? 

  • Heading, marital history, and children 

The first section should include your full name, location, and a declaration that this document will serve as your last will and testament. It should also have your marital history and a list of your children. 

  • Debts and taxes 

A record of your debts and how they should be paid is a must to include in your will.

  • Disposition of assets 

This section should state who should receive your assets and how you want your assets to be distributed. 

  • Guardianship 

List a guardian and estate for your minor children. If you do not list a guardian, a court will choose one. 

  • Executor and trustee 

The executor is the person that carries out your will. You should state who you want to appoint as your executor. If you do not choose, a court will decide. 

  • Executor and trustee powers 

You must also state exactly what powers you want your executors and trustees to have. 

  • General provisions 

The general provisions may vary depending on your situation. Your attorney can guide you. 

  • Definitions 

You should also include definitions and explanations for any terms or words used in the will in order to avoid any potential confusion. 

  • Trusts 

Including a trust is optional. Consult your attorney on what trusts to include, if any. 

Do you need a lawyer to draft your will? 

No, hiring a lawyer to draft your will is not a requirement. It does not matter if the will was made by you or a lawyer, as long as it meets your state’s legal requirements. However, consulting a lawyer can prove to be very beneficial when it comes to drafting or updating your last will and testament. 

A good lawyer can help you state your intentions more clearly so they can be carried out according to your wishes. Moreover, your lawyer will also help you ensure that your will complies with the laws of your state and is overall beneficial for your loved ones. 

If you are thinking of drafting or updating your will, do not hesitate to reach out to a lawyer today.