Will Information

What is a Last Will and Testament?

A Last Will and Testament is a written document that is used to distribute your property at your death to whomever you choose to receive your property (also known as your Estate). There are three main decisions a person who wants to prepare a Will needs to consider:

  1. Who do I want to handle my Estate (also called your Executor)? Ask sub-questions to yourself:
    • Is the person even willing to serve?
    • If that person is unable to serve who do I want as a first and second back up?
    • Is there anyone I want to specifically disqualify from serving?
  2. Who do I want my property to go to (also known as a beneficiary)?
    • The beneficiaries can be individuals, charities or a combination of both.
  3. How do I want my property to the beneficiary(s)? Ask sub-questions to yourself:
    • Do you want to give your property to the beneficiary outright?
    • Do you want to restrict how your beneficiary gets the property?
    • Do you want your beneficiary to receive some of the property now and some of it later?
    • Do you have a special needs beneficiary?
    • Do you have a minor?

Of course, there are several other considerations that need to be discussed and addressed with the attorney during the initial meeting such as gifting, business ownership and property ownership. The best thing to do is consider the preliminary questions and go over the details with a legal professional.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change my Will?
You can change your Will as long as you are alive and competent.

Is the person who I name as my Executor personally responsible for my debts?
An Executor is not responsible for your debts because they serve as your Executor, your Estate is responsible.

Does my Will come into effect during my lifetime?
No. Your will is only used once you die.

What happens if I die without a Will?
Please see the Heirship Section on the Probate Information section.

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