Estate Planning

Often people wonder if they really need a will. They may think that they do not have enough money or property to necessitate a will. Some people believe that a will requires their heirs to have to go through an expensive probate process. The truth is, a will is a good idea for just about everyone.

A will is a document in which a person declares what he wants done with his property at the time of his death. A will has no effect until the person who wrote it, known as the testator, dies. The testator can also revoke a will at any time prior to his death. If you die without a will, the state will distribute your property to your heirs according to the state's intestacy statutes. This means the state has control over the final distribution of your assets. This plan may not be what you want, but without a will you have no control.

Trusts are most often used to hold assets for the benefit of another. There are many kinds of trusts depending on the goal of the trustator (one who creates the trust) A living trust is a trust that holds assets that will avoid probate (see definition below). An irrevocable life insurance trust will hold life insurance so that the death benefit is estate tax free. A special needs trust will benefit a minor child with disabilities. At Ryan Law we can work with you to establish a trust that will meet your needs.

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