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A will is the most basic estate planning tool, and a current and valid will is the best way to make sure your goals are met and your family is taken care of after you're gone. Wills tell a person's family or heirs - and the courts - how that person wanted to distribute his or her money and property. If you have minor children a will dictates who you would want to care for them in case of your demise.

Many people opt for a trust as part of a will, or as an estate planning method of its own. A trust sets up a means to control property that is put under its authority. The person who makes and funds the trust uses the trust document to specify how the trust assets should be managed and who should receive benefits. Whether you want to prepare your first will or you are interested in updating your estate plan or exploring trusts, a skilled estate planning law firm, like Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak, can help you tailor a plan to your needs.

Contact Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak today at (800)351-8334 if you any questions about elder law, estate planning or estate administration.

Why do I need a will?

A will tells the world how you want your property to be distributed when you pass on. You may name your family, friends, distant relatives, charities, or other recipients. You can also use your will to give other types of instructions, such as naming a guardian for your kids and specifying an executor for the estate. The named guardian will be the person who will raise your children if you die before they are adults - a named guardian can refuse the responsibility, so it's important that whoever you name has agreed to the role. The executor administers the will and makes sure your directions are followed as closely as possible. If your will has to go through probate court, your executor will be involved in that process. The role involves considerable responsibility and time, so you should choose your executor carefully.

Preparing a will is not enough. Because the laws change, you should review and update your will with an attorney anytime your family or financial situation changes. A regular review will ensure that your will still does what you want it to do. Many wills don't include new spouses, later-born children, divorces, or deaths of named beneficiaries. A will can be updated by a newer will, or by drafting a codicil, which is an amendment to a will. Wills and codicils must be drafted and witnessed in specific ways to be valid; an experienced estate planning attorney can advise you on what is valid.

Contact Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak today at (800)351-8334 if you any questions about elder law, estate planning or estate administration.


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