As I’ve said in a previous blog, everyone should have a will. It doesn’t matter if you have Bill Gates money or if you are living paycheck to paycheck. Having a will securely in place provides financial stability and piece of mind.
Contrary to popular belief, one does not have to take the time and itemize every single item or artifact they have acquired through his or her lifetime. All one has to do to ensure their loved ones inherit their worldly possessions is to set up what is commonly referred to as a “simple will.” It’s simple because it is direct and to the point. There is not a lot of lugubrious language that makes things complicated and verbose. Instead, a simple will is typically crafted to make sure the spouse of the testator (person who dies leaving a will) receives all their personal and real property. Bluntly put, the spouse gets it all. They get the house, the cars, the golf clubs, the jewelry, you name it. The testator does not have to specifically name each and every item.
Also found in a typical simple will is language naming another party as substitute beneficiary. This is in case both husband and wife die simultaneously. In this case, both spouses are deemed to have pre-deceased each other and the other named beneficiary or beneficiaries in the will get all of their personal and real property. These beneficiaries are usually the children, grandchildren, or other close relatives.
If one wishes a specific individual to receive a specific item, such as an old family heir loom, this item would then need to be specifically mentioned in the will and so on.
I would like to mention that one does not have to be married to create a simple will. The basic structure still applies.
In terms of executing a will, this is also simple, pun intended. In New York State, a will needs to be witnessed by 2 non-interested parties. Once this is done, keep the will in a safe place, such as a safe, lock box, or something of that nature. These types of wills take relatively little time to have drafted up and are reasonable in terms of attorney fees.
By taking the time to put a will of this nature in place, an individual is ultimately putting themselves and more importantly their loved ones in a more safe and opportune financial situation.
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