A will is an essential part of any estate plan. Even if it is the only estate planning tool you decide to use, a simple will is enough to pass down your assets to your chosen beneficiaries, name a guardian for your minor children, and name a trusted executor to carry out the terms. The will attorneys at Simms Showers LLP can help you create an estate plan that meets all of your and your loved one’s needs.
Your last will and testament, also referred to as a simple will, is the most common type of will, and the most crucial. It outlines how your assets should be distributed, and to whom. If you have minor children at the time of your death, a simple will also names a guardian. While you may assume that your loved ones intuitively know how your assets should be divided, or you do not think there will be any disagreements about who gets what, the trauma of losing someone can set the stage for disputes, even among close relatives. Virginia law requires that a will be signed by two competent witnesses in front of the testator, according to the Virginia State Bar.
Do I Really Need a Simple Will?
Oddly enough, young adults (18 to 34-year-olds) are now more likely to have a will than middle aged adults (35 to 54-year-olds). And, unfortunately, only 44 percent of older adults have a will. There are many reasons why a will is important to have, regardless of your age, including the following:
- Save time and money for your loved ones;
- Reduce the risk of family disputes;
- Provide instructions, and passwords, for your social media and digital accounts;
- Ensure that your assets are passed down to those you wish;
- Leave burial, cremation, funeral, or memorial instructions;
- Name an executor who will administer your estate;
- Name a guardian of a minor child;
- Name an owner for your pets; and
- Create peace of mind.
Other Types of Wills
- Testamentary Trust Will—A testamentary trust, also called a child’s trust, is a type of trust that allows you to put assets aside for a beneficiary, usually a child, after you have died. Unlike a revocable or irrevocable trust, a testamentary trust only takes effect when you pass away. The grantor can make changes while they are alive, but once they pass away the trust becomes irrevocable.
- Joint Will—If you wish for your spouse to inherit everything, and vice versa, a joint will may be useful. However, neither of you can alter any of the provisions, including beneficiaries and the executor, after one of you passes away.
- Living Will—A living will, also referred to as an advance healthcare directive, outlines what medical treatments you do or do not want should you become incapacitated. It is often used to determine what life saving or end of life treatments a patient may or may not want.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
While few people look forward to creating a will, it is something that we all must do, regardless of age. The wills attorneys at Simms Showers LLP can help you draft a will or modify an existing will if more than five years have passed since you last modified it, or if any major life changes have occurred since then. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.