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Everyone knows that a “will” is the document that says who gets your property after your death – but what is a “simple will?”
“Simple will” is not a legal term – it’s just a way of saying that you do not have a complex estate, there are no tax issues that you need to resolve in the will, there are no trusts that need to be created to accomplish your goals, and there are no legal issues like how to protect a disabled child or family member’s assets after your death.
When is a simple will enough to accomplish your goals, and when do you need a “complex will?”
If your goal is to name the persons who will receive your property after your death, identify the executor for your estate, and maybe appoint guardians for your children, a simple will is enough.
What are some examples?
A “simple will” just means that your will, for now, is uncomplicated. You want to keep it as simple as possible, and you do not have any considerations like avoiding estate taxes or protecting your assets for a disabled (or spendthrift) child. When do you need something a bit more complex?
For many people, a simple will is all they need. If circumstances change down the road, you can always amend the will (and people often do).
How do you know if you need a simple will or a complex will? If you aren’t sure, ask your attorney. Your probate and estates lawyer on the Axelrod team will review your situation with you including your assets, your goals, and any special considerations that you may have.
Some examples of clients who may require a complex include:
A simple will does not allow you to avoid probate, although there are tools that your attorney can use to avoid probate in some cases.
You can always change your will – many people do as their life circumstances change. You may want to keep the “simple will” and just change who receives property and how much, or you may discover that you need a comprehensive estate plan that is a bit more involved as you accumulate wealth and as your life circumstances change.
You may divorce, you might get married, one of your children may become disabled, you may discover that you have value in your business that is worth more than you thought it was, or you may discover any change in circumstances that requires amendments or a complete re-write of your Last Will and Testament.
You can make changes to your will at any time and for any reason. When you are not sure if you need to rewrite or make amendments to your will, call your attorney on the Axelrod team, and we will help you find the simplest, most cost-effective way to accomplish your goals.
Whether you need a simple will or a complex estate plan, your attorney on the Axelrod team is prepared to help you accomplish your goals. Call your estate planning and probate attorney at Axelrod and Associates today at 843-916-9300 or complete our contact form to set up an initial consultation.
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