A Simple Will sets forth the wishes of the person writing the Will, the “Testator”, and provides for the distribution of his estate after his or her death. A common gift in a Simple Will reads “to Joe, if Joe survives me, otherwise to Mary.” The gift is not held until Joe reaches a certain age, or attains a certain goal, such as after graduating from college. There are no restrictions on the gift to Joe, other than that he is living at the date of death of the Testator.
A Simple Will only disposes of the Testator’s “probate assets,” which are those assets that are owned by the Testator, in the Testator’s own name, alone, at the time of the Testator’s death. It will not dispose of any assets which were held jointly with right of survivorship by the Testator with others, or any assets on which the Testator named a beneficiary (i.e., a payable on death beneficiary).
Writing a Will does not ensure that Probate will not occur. In fact, Simple Wills are typically administered through the Probate Court. Think of a Simple Will as a “roadmap” for the Probate Court. Also, a Will must be filed after the Testator’s death and becomes a public record.
Should you have any questions about Simple Wills, Estate Planning, or would like to schedule a free initial consultation, please contact Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC at (847)253-8800 or contact us online.
Waltz, Palmer & Dawson, LLC is a full-service law firm with various areas of service to assist your business, including: Employment Law, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate, Business Immigration, Litigation and general Business Law services. Individual services include Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, Divorce and Family Law.
This information constitutes attorney advertising. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.