Wills: The Most Basic Foundation of an Estate Plan

A properly drafted will can take much of the guesswork out of winding up a person’s affairs after they have passed. A will can specify who should receive your assets and in what proportion, along with indicating your preference for the guardianship of minor children and whom you would prefer to do the work of gathering and distributing your assets.

When a person dies without a will, they are said to die “intestate.” This isn’t a good thing. It means that in order for any estate assets to pass to the decedent’s heirs, someone will have to volunteer to act as “personal representative” for the estate and be appointed by the probate court. It also means that, regardless of what the decedent wanted done with their assets, those assets must be distributed according to the state laws governing intestate succession – a one-size-fits-all template for distributing assets to heirs.

A will specifying a guardian and conservator for minor children also prevents a potentially difficult legal proceeding over who should care for surviving children and who should be put in charge of their finances until they are old enough to receive their inheritance.

Westbrook Law PLLC offers clients comprehensive will drafting services, as well as codicils for amending existing wills, and advice and counsel concerning interpretation of existing wills. We offer free initial consultations. Contact us to set up an appointment.