what a will can do
your last will and testament
A will can do a number of things. Foremost, a will allows you to determine where your assets go after you pass on. In the absence of a will, you will have died “intestate.” Your possessions will be distributed according to statute unless otherwise legally directed by you. Examples of being otherwise legally directed include a beneficiary of life insurance, a retirement account, or assets you have placed in a trust.
A will must be executed such that it meets the statutory requirements. In one case, a woman drafted her own will, but it was not executed according to the requirements. She ended up passing away intestate.
A will usually covers the following:
- It identifies your desired executor and successor executor
- It identifies your desired beneficiaries
- It provides an opportunity to exclude someone who might normally have been a beneficiary
- It specifies what you want to give to whom
- It instructs what is to be done if one of your primary beneficiaries predeceases you
- It can sweep remaining assets into your trust to minimize the Probate process. This is called a Pour Over Will
- It also gives witness to the fact that you were of a proper state of mind to execute you will
Your will helps build the foundation for your estate plan.