A simple will is the most common type of will in estate planning. It’s a good option for simple estates. A will is a legal document outlining your final wishes and how you’d like to distribute your assets when you die.

A simple will includes assets such as bank accounts, real estate, and stocks and a plan for who should receive them. These are your beneficiaries.

Another critical component of a will includes naming a legal guardian for any minor-aged children to ensure they are taken care of if something happens to you. To create a simple will, contact our attorneys for legal counsel.

What is a Testamentary Trust Will?

A testamentary trust will make sense for more complex estates.

It is a legal document that essentially creates a trust for your beneficiaries—a useful option if you want to leave money or property to your loved ones that cannot manage it independently. An example of this might be minor children not yet ready to take on this responsibility.

A testamentary trust allows you to define specific criteria and guidelines on any inheritances or when certain assets can be accessed. Parameters could include age, as one example.

What is a Joint Will?

When two or more people want to leave their assets to each other—say a husband and wife—a joint will is the correct legal tool. In it, all assets owned by both individuals are combined and added to the document. This will ensure your surviving loved one will not have to endure the probate process.

When one of the two people passes away, a joint will allows for the assets to be automatically transferred to the other person. This will protect your spouse after death and allow any assets to be shared with your children.

Joint wills are not flexible; however, if one of the two spouses wants to amend the will after the death, it could be problematic.

What is a Living Will?

A living will, or an advance directive allows you to outline specific wishes related to your medical care choices and treatment if you become incapacitated and cannot make decisions for yourself.

As you draft this when you are healthy and of sound mind, an advance directive will make your instruction clear to your physicians and family members the type of care you want to receive if the unfortunate happens.

This is a powerful document if you have strong feelings about end-of-life care and want your care team and family to respect your requests. To see which of the four types of wills makes sense for your end-of-life wishes, contact our legal firm to get started: (702) 935-4144.