What a Will Can and Can’t Do

Having a last will and testament is extremely important for ensuring your belongings go to the people you intended your belongings to go to when you pass away, among many other things. When it comes to estate planning, a will is a very important first step, but it is certainly not the only step that needs to be taken in most situations. Understanding what a will can and can’t do is important when engaging in estate planning activities.

What a Will Can Do for You

  • Bequest Specific Items to Specific People – If you have a specific item that you want a specific person to have when you die, a will is an excellent option. You can name just about anyone, even if it isn’t a blood relative, and bequest to them the exact assets you desire.
  • Naming Guardians for Minor Children – If you have minor children, a will is perfect for ensuring the people you choose will step in to provide their care after you’re gone.
  • Disinheriting a Person – While unfortunate, there are reasons why people want to make sure none of their assets go to one of their relatives. A will can have a section specifically written to ensure one (or more) person doesn’t get anything.

What a Will Can’t Do for You

  • Avoid Probate – Even if you have a will in place, your estate will almost always have to go through the probate process. There are other estate planning tools available, such as trusts, to help avoid probate.
  • Delay Access to Inheritance – If you have a child who you want to pass your belongings down to, but you don’t think they are yet mature enough, a will can’t delay their getting access to it. If you use certain types of trusts, however, you can have their inheritance held until they reach a certain age.
  • Keep Estate Private – Wills are a matter of public record, and so is the probate process. If you want to keep your estate private, a will is not the right tool for the job.

We’re Here for All Your Estate Planning Needs

Even if you aren’t wealthy, proper estate planning is important and can help position yourself and your assets properly so they can be passed along according to your wishes. Whether you just need a simple will, or something much more advanced, we are here to help. Contact us to discuss your situation and see what we can do for you.

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