A Last Will and Testament is a wonderful estate planning tool that works well for people with straightforward, uncomplicated assets. For many people, however, a basic will is inadequate to address all their estate planning needs.
Here are several reasons why you may need more than a simple will to protect your family, your assets, and your future.
If you have young children, you care about their financial and personal well-being. In the event something happens to you and your spouse, who will care for your children? Who will oversee their money? What happens when your kids become adults? Do you want them having full access to their inheritance? You probably have definite ideas about your children’s education, environment, and access to funds. Although a will can address these issues, a more comprehensive estate plan is generally more effective for setting reasonable conditions on an adult child’s access to an inheritance.
If you and your spouse have children from previous relationships, a more comprehensive estate plan can help you make sure all your loved ones are protected and financially secure after you pass away.
Wills are accessible to the public. If you prefer to keep your estate private, a trust or other arrangements can help you shield your assets from the public.
Unmarried, But Committed – There are many reasons why committed couples in an intimate relationship choose not to marry. If you are unmarried but nevertheless in a committed relationship with a long-term partner of the same or opposite gender, it is important to ensure your assets go to the person you intend, which may be different than what the law says.
Health Care Decisions – Many people have strong preferences when it comes to end of life decisions and other health care issues. There are certain documents that allow you to appoint a trusted, responsible person to handle these decisions on your behalf if you are unable.