Last Will and Testament
Your last will and testament (will) are your written instructions to the Probate Court telling it: who you want to have your assets (the “beneficiaries”); who you want to handle your estate (the “executor”), which is collecting debts, paying bills, and distributing assets; and if you have minor or incapacitated children, who you want to take care of them (the “guardians”). Your will can also be used to avoid estate taxes, and to create a trust for your children, wife or other beneficiaries upon your death.
If you die without a will (“intestate”), then your property will be distributed according to state law regardless of your wishes. Likewise, custody of minor or incapacitated children may be given to someone other than the person(s) you would choose as guardian(s).
A will is a standard part of every estate plan, however, if you have minor or incapacitated children a will is vital to ensure that the people raising your children are the people you actually want raising your children.
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