Most people are familiar with Wills, but many have not put in place this important document. Why is a Will so important? Not only does it state how one’s property should be distributed, it typically serves the functions of designating guardians for minor children and naming an executor to handle estate administration. Individuals who do not have a Will when they pass away essentially put the courts in charge of the distribution of their assets, the identification of guardians who will raise their minor children, and the appointment of executors who will administer their estates. The one-size-fits-all approach stipulated by law often does not achieve an individual’s personal desires.
Most married couples with children typically wish to leave all of their property to the survivor of them, but if there is no Will, the law of many states directs only a portion (usually 50%) of the decedent’s property will be distributed this way. The remainder of property often is disposed to the decedent’s children. Similarly, blended families usually want to spell out their intentions in Wills to ensure more money is left to the surviving spouse or to younger children who have not yet graduated college. Moreover, many clients want to specifically name a guardian for their children or who they want to be executor to prevent next of kin from fighting over these determinations.
Lawrence Kamin’s estate planning attorneys have been drafting legally-sound Wills and related documents for married couples and individuals for decades. With our time-tested experience comes a wealth of knowledge that we use to draft Wills that are tailored to each client’s goals and to each unique family and situation. Our clients benefit from the guidance we provide to mitigate the numerous personal, legal, tax and financial issues that are involved in the preparation of a Will and an estate plan. Not only do our attorneys prepare effective Wills for our clients, we also advise them on how best to own their assets and how to designate the beneficiaries of their retirement accounts, life insurance policies and brokerage accounts to achieve optimal tax and cost savings, while still satisfying their distribution goals.