Your estate plan should include a Will. Wills, at their most fundamental level, dispose of your property at death. A Will can provide care for a loved one, a spouse, a child, or a charity. A Will can determine guardianship of your minor children or other dependents. A Will can create wealth for future generations. It should also minimize taxation of your estate at your death. Distribution of property, both real and personal, through a Will is generally divided into two basic categories:
- Specific Bequests or Gifts
Specific bequests or gifts can be made of personal items.
Example: “I give my grandfather’s watch to my son, Michael A. Smith.”
The residual portion of the estate is given to the residual beneficiaries.
Example: “I leave the rest and residue of my estate in equal shares to my children, Tom and Mary.”
A properly drafted Will names an executor. This is the person who will carry out your wishes and administer the estate according to the Will as drafted. A properly drafted Will also names trustees or guardians as necessary.
We are only limited by our creativity in drafting your estate plan. Clearly, there are statutory rules that we must follow when drafting a Will. Within these rules, however, we can be creative in remembering individuals, charities, and loved ones.
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