A will is a legal document that states how you would like your estate to be distributed. Your estate includes any assets and possessions that you own at the time of your passing. When creating your Last Will and Testament, you indicate how you would like your estate to be split (e.g., equal percentage shares to multiple people, all to one individual, specific dollar amounts to charity, held in trust, etc.) and those individual(s) that you wish to receive a part of your estate after you die. These individuals are known as the beneficiaries of your Will, and they can be anyone of your choosing.
A will is important for everyone because it gives you the opportunity to direct where and to whom your property will go after you pass. Without a will, you lack control over what happens to your estate and allow it to pass per the laws of intestacy. A will is especially important if you have children, are a blended family, have a high-value estate, own real property, or own multiple properties in different states.
When creating your Will, you will designate an individual to settle or distribute your estate. This person is sometimes referred to as your Executor, but modern trends in Washington have favored the term “Personal Representative” for testate estates, and “administrator” for intestate estates (link to probate process blog). Your Personal Representative will be responsible for probating your estate, paying any outstanding debts, and ensuring that the beneficiaries of your estate receive their appropriate shares or property as laid out in your will. Everyone’s estate and situations are different, so call us today and schedule a consultation to find the best plan for you and your family!