Simple Wills

A Will is a legal device whereby a deceased’s property is distributed to those named by the deceased. Wills also can dictate how the debts of the deceased’s estate are paid. Most people will benefit in one way or another by having a Will. Simple Wills are generally used when it is anticipated that the estate assets will be non-taxable. Simple Wills generally leave property outright, as opposed to establishing testamentary trusts, which come into existence upon the death of the testator.

Many couples have “Sweetheart Wills” (a/k/a “Mom and Pop Wills”), which leave everything to one spouse as the surviving spouse or, if they die simultaneously, to their children. In the event the children are minors at the time of a simultaneous death, there needs to be arrangements made for the management of the devised assets until the children reach the age of majority or until some other of life’s milestones has been reached like graduation from college or marriage. Sometimes it is prudent to name a guardian of the estate of the children to manage the estate until the triggering milestone has been reached.

If you have a limited amount of assets, a simple Will may be right for you. However, as we age, we tend to acquire more property; and, sometimes, more liability. If you have children and a modest amount of assets, a simple Will may not be best for you. Each situation deserves analysis for the proper level of protection contained in a Will.

A simple Will allows the Testator a variety of ways to divide his estate. As an example, certain dollar amount gifts can be made. Or, a testator can devise property by a percentage. By virtue of its name, a simple Will is just that. It does not address more complicated issues as estate tax or trust creation.

If you have children, you may not wish to list in your simple Will who will be their guardian in the event of you and your spouse’s simultaneous deaths. You may wish to make a Parental Appointment of Guardian in a separate document. By doing this, if you change your mind who should be your children’s guardian, you will not need to have another will drafted.

A quick analysis of your current life is a good idea in determining whether a simple Will is good for you. If you are under 50 years old, in decent health and have assets less than the amount subject to estate tax exemption, you are likely a good candidate for a simple Will.

The attorneys at Garg & Associates can help decide if a Simple Will meets your needs or if your estate planning needs may be better served by establishing a trust or some other asset protection method.

We invite you to contact us for a consultation. Call Garg & Associates, PC at 281-362-2865 or complete our contact form.

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Garg & Associates, PC | 21 Waterway Avenue, Suite 300 | The Woodlands, Texas 77380 Please call 281-362-2865 | Fax: 866-743-4506
Serving The Woodlands, Spring, Houston, Conroe, Kingwood, Tomball, Cypress, Huntsville, Cleveland, Stafford, Montgomery County, Harris County, West Oaks, Memorial, Sugar
Land, River Oaks, Alief, Stafford, Missouri City, and Southwest Houston Texas.