Besides your birth certificate and marriage license, your last will and testament is one of the most important documents you will ever own.
Did you know there is more than one type of will to choose from?
Depending on how many assets you own and the nature of your family, you may need multiple wills and trust documents when planning your estate.
While this is not an exhaustive list, here are the four most often used types of wills. Keep reading to learn more about choosing the right will for you.
As the name implies, this will is a straightforward document spelling out what to do with the assets of your estate after your death.
Wills need to be typed out, not handwritten. They should have the date they are signed rather than the day they are written out.
If you have a relatively small and easy to handle collection of assets, a simple will does the job just fine. It is still smart to hire an attorney to save you from mistakes with unforeseen legal consequences for your family.
Joint wills are for married couples who want to leave all their assets to their surviving spouse.
It is important for each spouse to have their own estate planning documents. But a joint will makes sure the living spouse inherits everything from the partner who passes away first. It also specifies what will happen to the total of both assets once the remaining spouse has passed on.
Writing up this kind of will is an excellent opportunity for you and your spouse to inventory everything you both own so nothing falls through the cracks. You will have the chance to work together to make sure both your wishes are met and your family is well prepared for the future.
Testamentary Trust Will
This will specifies exactly which of your assets will be given to the trust you have made for each beneficiary.
In other words, a testamentary trust will is the most efficient way to make sure your loved ones get their inheritance from you with no hiccups. This type of will protects your assets and reduces inheritance income taxes for your beneficiaries.
A living will is only effective while you are alive and does not decide ownership of your assets after death.
This will gives detailed instructions regarding what medical procedures you are and are not comfortable with, in the event that you cannot give consent yourself. Say, for example, you fall into a coma or become too sick to stay coherent—your living will gives the person with medical power of attorney a set of directions.
More About Different Types of Wills
You do not need to be rich to start planning your estate. Writing up your will is a great first step.
Planning your estate is a process and will not happen overnight. Think about choosing someone to have power of attorney over your finances and medical needs in addition to writing up a will with your attorney.
For more information about even more types of wills, contact one of our skilled legacy lawyers for a consultation today.