LET'S TALK ABOUT ESTATE PLANNING PART II
We introduced estate planning last month, and some of the tools used. This edition, we will discuss in a bit more depth some of these estate planning tools...
Some types of Estate Planning tools include;
· LIFE INSURANCE
· MEDICAL INSURANCE
What is a Will?
A Will is a disposition or declaration by which the person making it (the testator) provides for the distribution or administration of estate after death. It is an essential part of an Estate Plan. Wills may come in various types, the difference remains in the complexity of the Testator’s Estate.
Benefits of a Will
a) A Will is the easiest tool to direct your assets to your beneficiaries. Your estate includes the property and funds owned at the point of demise.
b) A simple Will:
o appoints an executor,
o may designate people to care for minor children and
o allocates your estate between your heirs.
c) A Will allows you plan how your estate will pay your bills (e.g. medical, probate and legal fees).
d) A Will provides a backup plan in case a bequest or gift fails.
Executing a valid Will
1. A formal Will must be properly executed, which means that it contains a statement at the end:
◦ attesting that it is your Will, and
◦ the date and place of signing,
2. Generally, a Will must be in writing.
3. The testator must be of legal age i.e. at least 18 years old to make a Will.
4. The testator must be of sound mind and have testamentary capacity.
5. A testator must also intend that the paper he/she is signing is a Will.
6. The signing of a formal Will must be witnessed by at least two adults.
Other types of wills
· testamentary trust
· pour-over will
if you already have a Will, you may need to review and update your will, and your estate plan to make sure that it remains consistent with your wishes and goals. Let’s take an example. Whenever your family circumstances change, whether by birth, death, adoption, marriage, separation, divorce, remarriage (oops don’t go there nana. We are Christians and there are rules….. stuff happens!!!!) or anything else you can think of, you need to review your estate plan.
How do I effect changes in my Will?
You may review and amend your Will through a codicil. A codicil can add to, subtract from or modify the terms of the original Will. A codicil is a written amendment to a person's Will which must be dated, signed and witnessed just as a Will at inception and must make a reference to the Will it seeks to amend.
How to revoke a WillA Will may be revoked by a subsequent Will which expressly states that the current document revokes the prior Will in its entirety or supersedes it for all purposes by making a complete disposition of the testator’s property.
Wherein this is not stated the Court will most likely interpret the document as a Codicil.
If you do nothing else, please ensure you have a Will no matter the size of your estate.
We would like to hear from you. Please send your questions or comments to us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Next edition we will be discussing TRUSTS.Written By Nana Dawodu.
Ø Estate & Trust Administration for Dummies by Margaret Atkins Munro & Kathryn A. Murphy
Ø Wills & Trusts Kit for Dummies by Aaron Larson
Ø Suze Orman Will & Trust Kit