A will can accomplish many different legal tasks, including designating beneficiaries, naming guardians for minor children, and naming an executor for the estate. However, many people can get by with a simple will that has a few important provisions. The following are some of the key provisions to include in your will.
Choose Who Receives Your Property
Many people will want to leave all of their property to their spouse or children. This can be accomplished, but there are a few additional things to consider.
First, you should to specify what should happen if one of your beneficiaries passes away before you do. In many cases, you can simply state that their share will be divided equally among the remaining heirs.
You may also want to include a survival clause. For example, if both you and your spouse are involved in an accident, there is a possibility that your assets could have to go through probate twice if one of you passes away shortly after the other spouse does. You can designate a longer survival period to avoid this problem.
Name an Executor
The executor is in charge of administering the estate. Many people choose a family member, friend, or someone else with the necessary skills to complete this task. You should also consider choosing an alternate executor in case your primary executor is unable to serve. This position does require some legal or business knowledge, so make sure you choose someone that is up to the task.
Other Important Will Provisions
There are many other provisions that should be included in every will. The following are a few provisions that you should be sure to include in your last will and testament:
State that you are revoking all prior wills to avoid a potential conflict between the new will and a prior will.
Include a residuary clause, which controls what happens to all property not specifically mentioned in the will. This ensures that any property you acquire after drafting the will is still distributed to your designated heirs.
If you have minor children or a trust, you should name any trustees and guardians in your will.
Every family is unique, and some situations require more complex will provisions or more complex estate planning tools. If you have questions about what to include in your will, consult with an estate planning attorney.
At Reznik Law, PLLC, we understand that every estate plan must be uniquely crafted. Our goal is to help guide you through this process and listen to your concerns. Contact us for a free estate planning consultation, www.carywills.com.