Do you need a Will or Trust?

First, the answer to this question for most people is yes. Two popular reasons to get a will done are to designate a guardian for minor children or to be able to leave specific items to friends or loved ones. Another important reason is that if you do not have either document when you pass away, then the state has a bunch of laws that fill in as your will. In some situations people like what the state’s laws say and decide not to do either. Most people do not like what the laws say for at least a couple of reasons:

  • If you do not have a will or trust then your loved ones will have to pay the court money called a bond or ask for a waiver of that bond to probate your assets.
  • The states laws are very general and most likely do not specifically do what you would like to have done with your assets after your death.

Second, you need a will or trust that is done correctly. Please please do not use a “do it yourself” website. It is cheaper now, but it costs your loved ones dearly later. There is a reason lawyers go to school to learn how to draft these things. It is like any other specialty. If you try to fix a leak and you are not a plumber, then you may end up with a watery catastrophe. Only the catastrophe in doing your own will doesn’t occur as instantly because no one knows until after your death. For example, if you leave $1.00 to one of your children who you have not seen or spoken to in thirty years because someone told you that is how you “disinherit” a child, you are making a mess! There are many of these easy to make messes that are not so easy to clean up.

Third, you will need to decide which one you need. That is one question we can’t answer on this page as we haven’t talked to you yet. Two popular reasons to get a trust instead of a will is when you have property in more than one state and/or you are married and you or your spouse or both have children that are not from that marriage. We can go into more detail about which is your best option during a consultation.

Fourth, there are other documents and decisions you will need to have and make. The documents include a power of attorney (who can handle your money during your lifetime), healthcare surrogate (who can make healthcare decisions for you during your lifetime) and living will (the “plug” that doctors pull in certain circumstances if you so wish). The decisions include who those people are and then also what you would like to have done to your body after you pass away. For example, do you want to be buried next to your spouse or would you prefer to be cremated and have your ashes spread in the ocean? We will go over all this and more in your consultation.

Finally, so often we wait to deal with preparing for our deaths because it is not pleasant to think about. However, not preparing can be terribly unpleasant for those you leave behind. Planning is not something you do just for your peace of mind, but it is also something you do for those you are going to leave behind so that their grief is not made worse by fighting amongst family members and/or an unduly burdensome court process. We look forward to speaking with you soon!




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I have been a Client of Ms. Camper for nearly 2 years now. I have asked her to Construct and re-write my living will twice, and this was done with a most personal touch, as the process was seamless and Ms. Campers explanations were both very clear and concise. I would Highly recommend using Ms. Camper for All your Personal Legal Needs. Ms. Camper has shown her knowledge and caring nature which is so very much lacking in Attorneys I have dealt with from New York and New Jersey. Ms. Camper is my now, "Go To Attorney".