If you are thinking about having your Will prepared, you may feel a little uneasy about the process. Kearns & Company is here to help take the guess work out of the procedure and provide you with the peace of mind knowing that you have a properly drafted Will.
Your Last Will and Testament:
- Ensures that your estate gets allocated according to your wishes and not the court’s wishes
- Allows you, and not a trustee, to appoint the legal guardian(s) for your children.
- Allows you to make cash bequests and gifts to friends and other relatives not in your immediate family
A Will is a document by which one regulates the rights of others over one’s property after death. Generally, it is advisable to use a solicitor when preparing a Will to ensure that it has the effect you want. It is easy to make mistakes when preparing your own Will and, if there are errors, this may cause ambiguity and confusion resulting in complex legal problems after your death. Sorting out such misunderstandings and disputes may result in considerable legal costs, which of course reduces the amount of money left in your estate to be distributed to your heirs, or worse, can create a conflict between your loved ones. Imagine your children and spouse in a lengthy court battle because one phrase was interpreted differently.
Probate is the legal process of settling the estate of a deceased person, specifically resolving all claims and distributing the decedent's property under the valid Will. Probate is a service that a lawyer provides to confirm the validity of a deceased person's Will. Once a will has been probated by the court, everyone can rely on its authenticity. Probate protects the instructions of the deceased, confirms the executor as the personal representative of the estate, protects the interests of family members who may have claims against the estate, and protects the executor against claims and lawsuits.
A Power of Attorney is a legal instrument that is used to delegate legal authority to an appointed person. The person who signs or executes a Power of Attorney is called the Donor. Once duly executed the power of Attorney gives legal authority to the appointed person (called the Attorney) to make property, financial and other legal decisions for the Donor.
A Donor can give an Attorney broad legal authority, or very limited authority depending on what is required. The Power of Attorney is frequently used to help in the event of a Donor's illness or disability or in legal transactions where the Donor cannot be present to sign necessary legal documents.
Important Note: A person in duress cannot give Power of Attorney. Unfortunately, that is usually when you need it most. Getting this simple document done before that happens can save a huge amount of aggravation.
A Representation Agreement
is the only way to authorize someone — called your representative
— to assist you or to act on your behalf for health care and personal care and financial mattersif you are incapacitated. Some might use it to cover routine financial affairs and legal matters. The representative's authority can survive the adult's incapacity.
6 Reasons to Update Your Will
- It’s Been 5 Years Since an Update
- Your Assets have Changed
- Your Family has Changed
- Your Relationship Status has Changed
- You Have Retired
- You Have Started a Business
If you are not sure if you need your Will updated, give us a call and we would be happy to answer your questions.
There are many reasons to get your will updated, if you are not sure if you need your will updated, contact us, and let us know what has changed and we will connect with you and help you decide if it is time or not.