Wills & Estates
Dealing with death is not a pleasant topic, however, if you suddenly die without a Will, you will be adding to the confusion and anxiety of your loved ones at what is already a difficult time.
A Will is a legal instrument that lets you tell the world how you want your assets to be distributed at your death. Should you die without a Will, the Commonwealth decides who gets your estate assets, without regard to your wishes or your heirs' needs.
Wills are not just for the rich! Regardless of how much, or how little, money you have, a Will ensures that your personal belongings and assets will go to family or beneficiaries whom you designate in your Will.
If you have children, a Will is a must to ensure that you choose the Guardian of your children's care. Without a Will, a court will determine who will care for your young children, and their property, should the other parent also pass away, or be unavailable, or unfit to care for them.
Finally, a Will lets you name the person who will oversee the settling of your affairs after you die, or what is called an Executor or Executrix. Without a Will, the Court will step in and choose the person responsible for wrapping up your affairs. The person the Court chooses might not be the person you would have wanted and sometimes a family conflict develops over who should be appointed by the judge. There are other benefits to having a Will, including tax benefits.
If you already have a Will, you may want to consider drafting a Trust instrument. A Trust is a legal mechanism that lets you put conditions on how your assets are distributed after you die and often lets you minimize gift and estate taxes.
Please feel free to consult with GPW’s staff of qualified attorneys, at no charge to you, to get answers to your estate-related questions and counsel you as to what best fits your needs and accomplishes your desires.
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