Drafting wills has been widely practiced as a form of personal planning for over a century. Indeed, assigning your properties, businesses or accounts to the ones you love in advance, in an order that’s preferable to you, makes sense. It can offer a sense of control and peace, as it will potentially determine the wellness of those who matter the most to you. There are so many ways in which wills can be written and manifested, and making an informed decision that is truly appropriate for you and your family is as important as it is difficult. In order to empower your legacy, you should seek out knowledgeable legal counsel to help facilitate this important process. Call North City Law’s devoted attorneys and start planning for your future today!
Types of Wills
Different types of wills will differ greatly in the kind of limitations they impose on the distribution of inherited wealth, as well as other conditions.
A testamentary will is used for a variety of estate planning directives. It can include designation of beneficiaries, as well as the assignment of the will’s executor, or the person who will be distributing the assets after the testator’s death. Testamentary trusts are usually formed as part of this type of will, particularly to benefit surviving minors. While this is a common estate planning device due to its simplicity and relatively low cost, it has its downsides, as probate court could be required to monitor the use of the assets in the trust for an extended period of time, incurring a great deal of stress to trustees, or its beneficiaries.
A mutual will is an older form of will that is typically executed by two spouses, particularly to ensure that assets are inherited by shared children, for example, instead of passed on to the surviving spouse’s presumed new family. Many complications can arise with such wills, as people’s intentions and circumstances may shift overtime, but a joint will is impossible to revoke and remains binding after one of the signee’s passing. This is different from a joint will, which is not necessarily irrevocable.
A pour-over will is a type of trust-related will which directs some or all assets into a trust with a named beneficiary at the time of death. In many cases, it could then be distributed to the Trustee without intervention of probate.
Planning for Incapacity
Self-reliance is something that many of us value and strive to develop and retain. Surely, having the freedom to choose your own circumstance is worth prioritizing. However, we can never predict where life might take us, and whether we will always have the ability to make or express our choices to others. This becomes an issue in particular in context of financial or medical decisions. In the recent century, the legal community has made leaps of progress in defining the types of legal devices that can be used to ensure that your personal preferences will be honored even when you cannot soundly communicate them with others.
The overarching term for such devices is Advanced Healthcare Directives and they can include powers of attorney, living wills, as well as some standard healthcare directives that a hospital may default to if you don’t already have one specified.
Life Insurance Planning
Though many overlook this element of retirement planning, life insurance planning can be extremely beneficial to your family or loved ones who remain after your passing. It can help a surviving spouse stay afloat after an untimely death, or it might cover unexpected medical costs. There are various types of life insurance available on the market, and it is important for you to make the correct choice for you and your family. With the help of the qualified attorneys at North City Law, you can start creating a comprehensive strategy for your life insurance benefits.
Call North City Law at 206-413-7288 today to get a FREE initial consultation and allow our accomplished legal team to help you plan a secure future!