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Every adult should have a will to specify what should happen to his/her property at death. A properly drafted will can spare your loved one’s uncertainty and stress in a time of grief.  Your estate plan is too important to be left to a two-page document that you download from the internet.  I offer two varieties of wills that I customize to meet my client’s specific circumstances and wishes.
The Basic Will is appropriate for individuals or couples without minor children. The Basic Will has the following features:
  • Designates an Executor. An Executor is someone charged with identifying the items you own at the time of death, paying valid debts and taxes, selling items in your estate, and distributing the proceeds or items to your beneficiaries;
  • It contains provisions to give real and personal property to the beneficiaries of your choice;
  • Identifies your Beneficiaries and their respective share of the estate;
  • Grants the Executor various administrative powers, including selling, managing, and transferring property, closing accounts, selling securities or other investments, and filing a final income tax return.

The Basic Will does not establish any trusts for minor children or designate your request for a guardian for minor children. The Basic Will does not establish any supplement needs trusts for Beneficiaries who lack capacity, are disabled or are eligible for long-term care benefits under a state or federal benefit program such as Medicaid or the VA.

The Enhanced Will is appropriate for individuals or couples with minor children or adult children that may not be ready to hand the responsibility of a substantial gift of property or money. The Enhanced Will has all of the features of the Basic Will, with the following additional features:

  • Confirms your wishes for a Guardian for minor children;
  • Establishes a trust for gifts to minor children or young adults (if you wish).  You may create a schedule for the Trustee to distribute money from the trust to the Beneficiaries at various ages or grant the Trustee discretion to distribute funds to meet various needs of the Beneficiaries;
  • Establishes a contingent supplemental needs trust in the event that one of your Beneficiaries is receiving Medicaid, SSI or VA benefits that might be affected if the Beneficiary received an outright gift of money or property.

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