Wills and Testaments

A last will and testament is a legal document that lets you, the testator (the person making the will), designate individuals or charities to receive your property and possessions at the time of your passing. These individuals and charities are commonly referred to as beneficiaries in your last will. A last will also allow you to name a guardian to care for minor children. The main purpose of a will is to ensure that the testator’s wishes are met. If a will is not executed, then default laws of the state, will be followed upon the testator’s death.

Most people know that they should have a will, but many don’t know what a will is or what it consists of, leaving questions on how to execute a will.

If we do nothing to take care of our legal affairs, we should write a will. If you don’t executed a will before your death, state laws will determine who gets your property, assets, or a judge may potentially decide who will raise your children.

Many kinds of property — perhaps some of the most valuable things you own — don’t necessarily pass through your will. Here are some things you should be aware of that doesn’t pass through your will. Your closest relatives may have a right to claim part of your estate.

Writing a will is strictly for legal tasks like naming your executor, beneficiaries of your property, and guardians for children. When naming guardians for your children in your will, it is usually best to name a guardian who lives relatively close to your child. However, in many families, those who have the closest relationships with the kids are not necessarily those who live the closest, and it is usually not a problem to name a guardian who lives far away.

Health care directives ensure that an individual’s medical wishes will be carried out when they become unable to make their own health care decisions. Health care directives include a health care declaration and a power of attorney for health care. A power of attorney for health care gives a family member or friend control of all health care decisions leading up to the person’s death Health care directives, also known as “living wills,” set forth an individual’s personal decisions regarding healthcare at the end of their lives.

At the Nater Law Firm we will strive to assist you in the process of organizing your estate in preparation for an expected or unexpected passing. We will help you choose your beneficiaries, plan the care of your children and arrangements of your funeral.

Once attorney Fanny Nater has assisted you in drafting a will or trust—which usually follows estate planning—they may also offer to take care of your estate administration. Estate administration is the maintenance and distribution of assets after death. An experienced estate lawyer will follow the terms of the drafted will and explain all available options to the involved beneficiaries. If you would like to learn more about drafting a will or trust, call Nater Law Firm to make a free consultation.