Contact our office to schedule a free telephone or in-office consultation to discuss your legal needs and determine the legal documents you need. A simple will includes the following:
- A Free consultation about your estate planning needs;
- Attorney will review the information provided by client;
- Attorney will create a draft of simple or complex will;
- Attorney or Law Office Associate will review with client by phone;
- A final draft will be completed and prepared for signing.
You will need to come into the office to sign your will. Our office locations can be found here.
Frequently Asked Questions About Simple Wills
What’s NOT Included in This Will?
- Leave property to someone other than your children or spouse
- Create an itemized list of personal belongings
- If you have a blended family (ie, step families)
- If you have minor children and wish to designate a guardian
- If you have minor children and wish to set up a trust
- If all of your living children are not inheriting equally
- If you wish to create a Financial / General Power of Attorney or Healthcare Power of Attorney
Is a Simple Will right for me?
This is the most basic type of will, designed to simplify distribution of your assets after your passing. If you wish to customize it in any way, please call our office directly for pricing. A list of common options or add-ons can be found below. Ask yourself the following questions. If you answer “yes” to any of the questions, please contact our office for a free consultation to discuss a custom will to include provisions for your circumstances. If you answer “no” to all of the questions below, then proceed with a simple will by completing the form below.
- Are you, or have you ever been, divorced?
- Do you have assets and/or insurance that exceed $1 million?
- Are you dividing your property in any way except to all your living children equally?
- Do you have real property in another state?
Should I Name a Lawyer as an Executor?
Hiring a professional to act as an executor has the benefit of having no conflict of interest – that is, someone who does not stand to gain from the will. For this reason, many testators avoid naming family members or business partners. This helps avoid will contests from disgruntled relatives who might accuse the executor of cheating. If you have several beneficiaries who do not get along, you may want an outside executor who is independent of all factions.The larger the estate, the more the potential for conflicts, and the more you should consider naming an outside executor. You should also consider the possibilities of conflicts of interest if you have several beneficiaries.There are other reasons for choosing a paid executor instead of your spouse. Your spouse may be incapacitated by grief, illness, or disability. Nonetheless, he or she as executor will be personally liable for unpaid estate taxes and fines for late filings, even if he or she has delegated such tasks to a lawyer. Furthermore, since the executor must gather all the estate assets, your spouse may be faced with the odious duty of retrieving money or property you loaned to other friends.
If you think your spouse may not be up to the job (considering that he or she may also be saddled with sole responsibility for any minor children), you might choose a lawyer or other professional, even though it means paying a fee. You might also consider hiring your lawyer as executor if you anticipate a will contest or know that you estate is going to require a lot of legal work.
Why Shouldn’t I Name Co-Executors?
Naming more than one executor of estate just to avoid hurt feelings can cause more harm than good. If co-executors are named in the will, all of them must act in unison. That means they must all make all decisions unanimously, sign property deeds and titles for transferring assets, and sign for the estate’s financial accounts, investment accounts, tax returns, and any other paperwork.In addition, they will all be responsible for paying the estate’s bills and debts (from estate assets, not their own pockets), and they will all be liable for damage to or loss of any assets. Because co-executors must agree and act together, naming multiple executors can cause delays and inconvenience. This is especially true if any of the co-executors lives out of town or out of state.
Why have a will? What are the consequences of not having a will?
If you do not have a will, state law will dictate what happens to your assets upon your death and you waive your right to provide other important instructions. This could result in unintended consequences. We believe it is essential to have at least a simple will, regardless of your circumstances or the size of your estate. A will cuts through a lot of the red tape, getting your assets to the intended beneficiary in a timely fashion.