How important is a Will?
A Will is the most basic, and most important, estate planning document. If a person dies intestate (without a Will), the state laws of intestacy will determine who inherits your estate. Therefore, your assets may pass on to an unintended person or persons. Moreover, if you did not make a provision as to who would be guardian of your minor children, the Probate Court will decide on an appropriate person. These are decisions that you should make after careful consultation with an attorney. You should be updating your Will at least every ten (10) years. There are bound to be changes such as births, marriages, divorces and deaths. Although thinking about these issues can be depressing, our client’s have told us, after doing their Will it feels as if a weight has been lifted off of them.
Please do not try to download a form from the internet in an attempt to write your own Will. In many cases, we have had clients show us their old Wills that came from a downloaded document, and unfortunately, they were not valid. In some cases, they were not even executed property. The consequence of a Will not being properly executed is that the Probate Court will treat the deceased as if they died without a Will. Therefore, your estate will pass by the laws of intestacy, which is clearly something you did not intend.
Our lawyers will help assist you with planning for contingencies that you may not expect. We will advise you as to who you may want to consider as guardian of your children and who should be considered to act as the Trustee of any money that your children may inherit. Our lawyers will also advise you as to how to avoid having certain assets pass through probate in order for you to evade a taxable event.
In addition to drafting Wills, we also prepare and execute Living Wills. A Living Will is a health care directive that helps your loved ones make end-of-life choices in accordance with the way you want things done. For example, if you are in a permanent vegetative state, you may want to elect that you not be placed on life support for the rest of your life. These are just some examples of the many issues we can help you plan for.
At Allingham, Readyoff & Henry, LLC., our lawyers are experienced to assist you with your estate planning needs and end of life planning. If you are in need of a Will in Connecticut or want to discuss your estate planning needs, contact us for a free consultation.