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WHAT IS A WILL: A Will is your written instruction as to whom you want your property (estate) to go to at the time of your death. Your Will does not become effective until your death. You can revoke your Will at any time so long as you are of sound mind.

CAN I MAKE A WILL: You can make a Will if you are eighteen years or older, or you have been lawfully married, or you are a member of the armed forces of the United States or of the auxiliaries thereof or of the maritime service, and you are of sound mind.

DO I NEED A WILL: You need a Will if you own property and want to determine who gets your property when you die.

CAN MY WILL DO MORE THEN DISPOSE OF MY PROPERTY: Yes. There are two other very important provisions you can include in your Will. One is the designation of a guardian or guardians for your minor children and disabled adult children if you are the surviving parent. The other is the creation of trusts.

WHAT IS A GUARDIAN: A Guardian is a person who oversees the welfare of a minor and in certain instances a disabled adult. A person for whom a Guardian is appointed is designated as the Ward. Welfare includes control over both the person and property (estate) of the Ward. A Guardian is under the control of a Court, usually a Probate Court.

WHAT IS A TRUST: A trust is an agreement so the legal title to property is held in the name of one person or company (Trustee) for the benefit of another person (Beneficiary). The Trustee can be granted greater power over the trust property than granted to a Guardian of an estate. The Trustee can operate without the approval of a Court. The estate Guardian must have approval of a Court as to how the ward's estate is managed. The Trustee does not need such approval. A Guardianship of a minor ward terminates when the ward reaches age 18, or marries or a Court removes the minority status. You can determinate when you want a trust you create to terminate.
Very careful consideration should be given in designating Guardians and Trustees. The persons designated as Guardians and Trustees must be someone who can and will provide the best possible care for your minor children. It is very important that you confer with the designated Guardians and Trustees to determine their ability and willingness to take on such responsibility. It is also recommended that alternate Guardians or Trustees be named in the event the primary Guardians or Trustees cannot or will not serve. The Guardians and Trustees can be different persons or the same people. Neither the Guardians nor Trustees need reside in the same state as the wards and beneficiaries.

INDEPENDENT ADMINISTRATION: This keeps the Courts supervision of the Will probate court proceedings to a minimum and should reduce the cost of probating the Will.

Most Wills are what is defined as mutual Wills. Husbands and wives most often use mutual Wills to dispose of their property. Each spouse leaves his or her property to the surviving spouse and if there is no surviving spouse then the property is left to the children of the couple. If some of the children are minors, then the Will can establish a trust for the minor children's share of the estate and appoints a Guardian for the minors. The below questionnaire is keyed to the Simple Mutual Will as well as a Complex Mutual Will. Please pay close attention to the instructions. Should you have any questions, please call me at the above 800 number or send me your questions by facsimile transmission or email. There is an email comment section at the end of the questionnaire. There is no extra charge for these services.

In order to make any of the Documents presented at this web site legally binding, you must be of sound mind and at least 18 years old. There are exceptions to the age rule. If you are under 18 years of age, you should call me to discuss the situation. There is no extra charge for this service. Also every Document presented at this web site can be revoked by you at any time if you are of sound mind. There are a number of methods to revoke these Documents. A few are: (1) write revoke on the document and sign your name; (2) destroy the Document; or (3) prepare a new Document expressly revoking the existing Document.

SIGNATURE AND REVOCATION INSTRUCTIONS: Each Document I send to you will contain complete instructions regarding the signing of the document and the different methods to revoke the Document.

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