A will is a written, signed, and witnessed legal document that basically does five things:
- Identifies your executor, the person to manage the distribution of your assets;
- Identifies the guardian(s) you choose to finish raising your children;
- Itemizes your possessions, property, financial accounts, and other assets;
- Names your beneficiaries, the people you want to receive your assets; and
- Gives your instructions and wishes as to how your assets and property are to be distributed to your beneficiaries after you die.
After one dies, a will often goes through probate, the process by which the court transfers legal title of property from the decedent’s estate to the beneficiaries. The probate court determines if your will is valid, hears any objections to the will, orders that creditors be paid, and supervises the process to assure that remaining property is distributed in accordance with the terms and conditions of the will.
After speaking with and being advised by a KMK attorney, you may decide that a will is the best instrument for your estate planning needs. KMK can provide legal advice on what can and cannot be accomplished through a will as well as provide recommendations as to specific provisions as needed. Finally, once you elect to include a will in your estate plan, we will draft the instrument itself according to your specifications.