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The Types of Last Will and Testament Documents

Posted on in Beneficiaries

A Last Will and Testament is designed to transfer assets upon death according to the wishes of the departed. This is accomplished by addressing the three concerns of the transfer, namely, beneficiaries of the will, guardians for any minors and an executor to administer the estate. This is accomplished in one of three separate ways.

The first type is a simple or statutory will which is primarily used in uncomplicated estate planning. There are state specific forms containing the necessary legal language which is completed by filling in the blanks. This "one size fits all" option is not recommended as each person's estate planning needs will be different.

The second type is a will with a testamentary trust. This is a form of estate planning when the testator, or will-writer, does not desire to create a revocable trust. This form of will is beneficial because it may avoid a guardianship estate if children are beneficiaries. Yet this form does not always allow the estate to miss probate and is just as complex as setting up a revocable trust.

The third type is called a pour-over will. It is drafted in tandem with a living or revocable trust as the beneficiary. The will can provide a guideline for the executor to transfer all unallocated assets to the trust upon the death of the testator. The benefit of such a will is that, if it is properly funded, then the costly hassle of probate court may be avoided.

Those people with children or those who own property should consider planning their estates, otherwise their assets could be fought over in court by relatives. If you are thinking of creating a will or, better yet, a revocable living trust, it is important to have a guide. Contact a skilled estate planning attorney in DuPage County to review your planning options.

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