Heymann & Fletcher
August 25, 2020

Types of Wills

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We all know that planning for the future is important. From finances to real estate to life insurance, we often work carefully to ensure what matters to us is protected. But many neglect one of the most important parts of estate planning: creating a last will and testament. Often this is because there is a lack of understanding about what a will entails and which kind to choose. Let us help you better understand the estate planning process and what kind of will is best for you and your family.

Why You Need a Will

Having a will is one of the most important things you can do for your loved ones to secure their future. The last will and testament spells out what will happen to your estate, including finances and possessions, after your death. How your estate is distributed, who will care for your children, and charitable giving are just a few important pieces within a will. Having a will also ensures that asset distribution runs smoothly and that your estate will most likely not end up in a lengthy probate process before it is released. Perhaps most importantly, a will gives you the peace of mind knowing your estate will be left in the hands of those who you trust and value most.

Types of Wills

There are several types of wills that will outline your estate planning wishes upon your death. Choosing the one that is best for your family is critical to ensure your estate is secured in the way you wish.

  • Simple Wills- A simple will is a legally binding document that outlines exactly what you want to do with your estate upon your death, who will execute your wishes and name guardians for your children. Simple wills can even outline your wishes for the family pet!
  • Joint Wills- A joint will is filed on behalf of two people, typically spouses, who leave their estate to one another in the event of death. Typically, the estate is left in its entirety to the living partner. This type of will also outlines what will happen to the children of the estate and the distribution once the remaining spouse passes away.
  • Testamentary Trust- A trust is a completely different type of legal document. It establishes a trust that is typically distributed over a specific timeframe usually to a minor or a disabled family member. A testamentary trust will also outline who is the trustee, or the person in charge of the trust until the beneficiary comes of age.

While you can create a will on your own, expert legal advice is important to ensure your will is valid under NJ law. Our lawyers can also ensure that your estate doesn’t end up in a lengthy probate process. We can also advise you on the best ways to avoid estate taxes. We would love to give you the peace of mind a sound will or trust can bring!