Last wills are the most widely utilized estate planning documents. Let’s take a look at three of the questions that people often have about these legal devices.
I know that a last will can be used for transferring assets. What else can a will do?
You are going to want to appoint someone to actually conduct the business of the estate during the probate process. This individual is known as the executor or personal representative, and you can name the executor in your last will.
If you are a parent of children who are still minors you can nominate a potential guardian for your children in your will. This would be the person who would care for your children if both parents were to pass away.
Your last will could also potentially contain a testamentary trust.
How do you go about changing a will?
There is a legal instrument called a codicil that can be used to amend an existing last will. You can also simply destroy all copies of the existing will and create a new one, and/or include a clause in a new will invalidating any previous wills.
I’m not wealthy, but I have been reasonably successful. Is a will my only option?
The answer to this question is a resounding no. You have other options with regard to vehicles of asset transfer. One of these would be a revocable living trust, and these are popular for people who want to arrange for efficient future asset transfers outside of the probate process.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.