A will is a legal declaration by which you name one or more persons to manage your estate and provide for the distribution of your property at death.

If you own assets in your name alone, they may pass from you to the people you love, as long as you leave a Will. Without a Will, your assets pass according to the State’s rules, also known as intestacy. The State may not appoint who you would have and may not pass your assets to the people you care about.

You Should Know That a Will …

  1. Allows you to appoint who gets what and how
  2. Can reduce your estate tax liability by using a trust in a will
  3. Can protect the ones you love by creating a trust in your will which can protect that person from future creditors
  4. Can protect disabled beneficiaries by creating a Special Needs Trust for them, which preserves assets for them, while keeping their eligibility for public benefits intact
  5. Allow you to accidently disinherit your own children
  6. Can protect the assets for your children from divorce
  7. Can protect the assets for beneficiaries who are not good with money
  8. Can protect the assets for your loved ones who have other problems, such as addiction or mental illness
  9. Must go through probate, using the courts to verify the will and divide your assets accordingly. (Note the Probate process is often expensive, available to the public, and time consuming- national average is 9 months)- No distributions can be made until the Probate process is complete
  10. Can easily be contested
  11. Does not provide for joint ownership or beneficiary designations
  12. Does not provide asset protection

A will allows you to appoint who gets what and how, assets will pass through your will to your loved ones if the will is written properly. Remember not all wills are written equally and offer the same protections listed above. Understanding the will plan you have or need will help you avoid costly errors and properly provide for your family.

For a review of your current will plan or for a consultation please call 415-905-0215 or fill out the form below to send us an email.

You are also welcome to attend an upcoming workshop to learn if your will plan is enough.