Wills: Putting Your Wishes In Writing
Many people put off writing a will. They think they have time. They think wills are for rich people. They believe their family members will “know what to do.”
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. If you die without a will, your family has no say in what happens with your estate. Instead, the state of Utah decides, which can cause needless family drama and even legal battles.
The Law Office of Penniann J. Schumann PLLC can help you draft or update your will to clearly express your wishes and plan your legacy. Our experienced attorneys provide peace of mind through customized estate planning services in the Salt Lake City area.
What Does A Will Do?
A will, sometimes called a “last will and testament,” is a legally binding document that spells out your specific wishes in the event of your death. Common elements of a will include:
- Who will inherit
- Which assets or fraction of your estate each heir should receive
- How your debts should be paid
- Nominating guardians for your minor children
- Naming an executor of your estate
- Care and custody of pets
- Charitable bequests
- Funeral rites and disposition of your remains
To discourage legal squabbles, some wills contain a no-contest clause that disinherits anyone who challenges the will.
What’s The Difference Between A Will And A Trust?
A trust is an instrument for holding some or all of your assets outside of your estate. Trusts serve many purposes, including bypassing the probate process. Not every person needs a trust, depending on the nature of your assets and your specific goals.
But every person should definitely have a will. In the absence of a will, your estate is divided according to the Utah laws of intestacy. That could give your assets away to people you never intended.
Altering Or Updating An Existing Will
There are many scenarios when it is prudent to revisit your will:
- Divorce and/or remarriage
- Adding new heirs (children or grandchildren)
- Death of one of your primary heirs or beneficiaries
- Adapting a will from a different state to comply with Utah law
- Changing your mind about who should (or should not) inherit
Any new will or codicil to an existing will must be properly signed, notarized, witnessed and filed with the court. Our attorneys make sure that the language is clear and legally sound.
Start The Process Today
The two lawyers of the Law Office of Penniann J. Schumann PLLC have 60 years of combined experience with wills and companion estate planning documents such as powers of attorney and advance directives.