Four Main Types of Wills
There are four main types of wills: Simple Will, Testamentary Trust Will, Joint Will and Living Will.
A Will1 is the most basic type of estate plan. It includes property titles to all your possessions and who you want to leave them to or where they should go. This document also appoints an executor who manages your assets after death following the terms set forth by the individual’s last wishes.
A person typically names one executor but can name more than one if desired; this is especially helpful for shared couples that are not married (who don’t have rights under intestate succession) or parents without adult children (too old).
A Simple Will is a document where the person’s estate is disposed of according to their wishes, and it may or may not involve an executor. The will must be created with formal wording for it to become legally binding and enforceable.
The person’s property is distributed to the people or charities they designate in a specific order of precedence, called a distribution declaration. An estate can be divided among family members, friends, or charitable organizations that share some aspect with the individual’s life – such as educational institutions where he/ she attended college, for example.
Keep in mind,
A Simple Will does not have any provisions about who will serve as executor2 (manager), what assets are covered by the document, and how these should be disposed of after death. For this reason, it needs to include at least one executor if there is anything significant left when someone dies; otherwise, it might lead to legal complications down the line, which may result in costly court proceedings and attorney fees.
Testamentary Trust Will
A testamentary trust will is a document that outlines how you want your assets to be distributed after death. It can include provisions for whether or not the estate should go into probate process, who would serve as executor and trustee of any funds left in the estate, how much of inheritance goes to beneficiaries designated by name, what financial support a spouse or other family member receives, whether heirs are financially responsible for the deceased’s debts and more.
If you want your children to inherit money when they turn 18 but don’t need any financial help now, then this might be worth considering. A testamentary trust can also include provisions for long-term care costs.
The executor of the will is responsible for ensuring that your wishes are carried out when you die, so it’s essential to choose carefully. Choosing an attorney specializing in estate planning might be a good idea if this is something you want to do. If you have any questions about wills, then please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime!
If you have a spouse or partner, it might be worth considering writing your will as joint with them. This way, if anything happens, the other person can handle things for you and protect what’s left of your estate without going through probate court.
It’s possible to write it as a joint will, which means you’re both responsible for everything when you die and can appoint each other as executors of your estate so that they can make sure things are taken care of properly.
On the other hand,
This type of will generally includes distribution instructions where assets and property go after one person dies or becomes incapacitated. The family home might be given to your children while your retirement account goes to your spouse if something happens before the age of 65 years old, for example. It should also include provisions about who gets what if there isn’t anyone named (and how much of a share it would be).
Family members and executors are often also named in this type of Will.
This type of will lets you name someone who will act as your medical proxy.
A living Will tells doctors what sort of life-sustaining treatments should be administered if they become incapacitated and can’t make their own treatment decisions. It also names an individual to take care of any end-of-life financial issues such as paying off a mortgage, turning the power back on, death certificates, etc., without having to go through probate court.
The estate distribution plan is laid out in this type of Will. It specifies who gets what and how much, for example, if they are a child or an adult; if there’s no spouse, then the share given to them may be lessened accordingly). The executor should also know where to find all the essential documents, such as car titles and deeds.
A distribution plan is also covered in this type of Will which helps beneficiaries get what they’re entitled to quickly after a person’s death. It may state who gets specific items or limited assets (such as jewelry), or it may be written more broadly with an outline on how children should share equally in their parent’s estate.
This can also name guardians for minor children and give other directives about parenting if there are no parents available to care for them. Many celebrities have used this single document, including Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, and David Rockefeller.
How much is the average cost of writing a will?
At an average cost of $250-$350 (depending on where you live) to set something up, this may seem costly. But think about the benefits: if everything goes according to plan in terms of distribution from your assets after death, no one has any reason to contest anything because they know what their entitlements were as laid out in the will ahead of time.
Which type of Will is right for me?
There are many factors to consider. It depends on your assets, what kinds of relationships you have with others if they would be beneficiaries and other family dynamics like divorce or remarriage.
What is the most common type of Will?
The most common type of Will is called a “testamentary” Will. With this, you state who gets what and in which proportions following your death, typically through the use of percentages or specific items. For example, 40% goes to my son John Smith; 30% goes to my daughter Mary Jones; 20% goes to my sister Jane Doe, with other percentages going elsewhere. But there are many factors at play when deciding on distribution from assets, so it’s best not to be too rigid about shares. Another factor may come into play down the line that would affect how those distributions go after death.
What are some common mistakes people make when writing a Will?
Some commons mistakes individuals make when drafting a Will include not considering what happens if they’ve remarried or divorced; using outdated language such as “my son” or “my daughter”; not including an executor of the will; and not being specific enough about what items they have in mind.
To sum it up,
A will is a legal document that outlines how you wish to distribute your assets after death. It’s essential to have one in place because it may be difficult for family members, friends, or other beneficiaries to figure out what they are entitled to if they make decisions about their estate dies without a will. As such, Wills help avoids costly and time-consuming disputes among heirs, which could last years before the inheritance can be settled.