A Will is a legal document that specifies how your estate will be handled and distributed after your death.
The way to ensure that your property passes to the persons you desire is to prepare and execute a valid Will, also called a Last Will and Testament. A Will may be used in combination with life insurance, trusts, joint ownership arrangements and other financial management tools to create an overall estate plan.
Your Will can include gifts to anyone, in any way you wish, whether he or she is a relative or not. You may also provide for a gift to a not-for-profit institution or charitable organization. Many clients are devoted to their pets. In a Will you can ensure that your pets are well taken care of after you gone.
In your Will you can recommend who should be appointed as guardians for your minor children. You can name a person you believe is willing and qualified to raise your children with values similar to your own.
Children, grandchildren or other may also be provided for by creating trusts in your Will for their benefits. For example, you can establish a plan to help pay for education or delay an inheritance until a certain age or particular event in your heir's life.
Typically, a Will names one or more person representatives (called an Executor or Executors) to collect the assets of your estate. pay your lawful debts and distribute your property to your heirs.
In order for a Will to be legally valid, it must be prepared and executed in strict compliance with state law. It is highly recommended that a Will be prepared and executed under the supervision of an attorney.
Once you have a properly executed Will, it should be reviewed regularly. It should be changed whenever your plans or circumstances change.