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What is a Will?

The Basics

A Will, more formally referred to as a Last Will & Testament, is an estate planning tool which enables you to make certain decisions regarding what happens to your property when you pass away, who is entitled to inherit from your estate and to name who should be responsible for your dependents.

Why is a Will important?

There are many reasons why a Will is a vital aspect to any estate plan, the most obvious being that you've spent your life working to provide for your family and loved ones, and a Will allows you to dictate the disposition of your legacy after you're gone. Your Will also protects your family and loved ones from being put in the position of guessing how you would want your estate administered, offering a roadmap to be followed. Also, depending on the size of your estate and various political considerations, proper estate planning can help to minimize the tax burden on those you leave behind; and who doesn't want to reduce the amount of taxes they pay in life and in death?

What can my Will accomplish?

By law, Wills can be exceedingly flexible and can be tailored to your specific situation.

  • Do you have young children that you want to provide for in the event of your untimely death?

    • Your Will can include what's called a Testamentary Trust. Through proper planning a Testamentary Trust ​can provide for your dependents for as long as necessary after your death.

  • Do you have a blended family with children from previous marriages?

    • Your Will has the flexibility to provide for who can inherit from your estate, in what amount, and what happens to their share if they happen to pass away before you do.

  • Do you have farm land or a family business that one of your children is involved in but the others are not?

    • Your Will can provide options to make sure your involved child can continue the family farm and/or business uninterrupted while still providing a legacy to your other descendants.​

  • Do you have another specific situation that you're not sure how to handle through your Will? Give us a call and we'll help walk you through all of your options to help you decide how to proceed.

What won't my Will accomplish?

There are certain assets that are not controlled by the terms of your Will. Some of these assets include retirement accounts with named beneficiaries, life insurance policies, and real estate that you own jointly with somebody else. For this reason, it's vitally important that estate planning be done with extreme care and attention to detail.

Give us a call today to discuss how we can help you and your family have peace of mind through proper estate planning!

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