At our Rocklin estate planning law firm we get plenty of calls for a “last will and testament.” But when our clients say that they need a “will,” they usually mean, “I want an estate plan to protect my assets and family when I die.” If you really know you want a will, we have a video on how to make your own will for free: Video – Make a Will for Free. Wills are still used in all of our estate planning packages, but it is rare that a will is the only estate planning device used. We talk a bit about the usefulness of a will here: Blog – Usefulness of Wills.
Last Will and Testament or Trust?
Clients overwhelmingly favor getting a trust instead of a will. Trusts have more benefits than a will for estates with real property, children, or blended families, for example. Trusts avoid probate court, can cost a fraction of a probate, and allow money to pass to beneficiaries sooner. The modern “last will and testament” is really just a “pourover will.” Pourover wills simply move things into trust after death. A pourover will won’t avoid probate, but it will be a part of a complete estate plan.
Is a Last Will and Testament Good?
It depends. Everyone has unique needs and talking with is one way to find out if a Will or Trust is best for you. A will can absolutely name beneficiaries of your property and even determine how your remains are handled. But this usually isn’t enough. If you aren’t sure you want or need a will, but know you want to plan for death and/or incapacity, give us a call or go online to set up your free 20-minute consultation (available evenings and weekends, too).