When I prepare a Will
for a client, it usually requires at least two office visits.
During the first visit the client and I will discuss his or her
particular situation and the client will provide me with names and
addresses of his or her intended beneficiaries, as well as other
relevant information which will be incorporated into the Will. If I
am preparing a Will for a husband and wife I ask both to see me at
the same time. I will then prepare a draft using the information
disclosed during the initial meeting and mail the draft to the
client for review. If the draft correctly expresses the client's
intent, I will put the Will on high-quality bond paper, attach a
blue cover, and the client will schedule a second appointment to
come in and sign the Will. It is my practice to only sign the
couple with grown children typically might make a bequest to their
church or charity and then give the residue and remainder to the
other spouse if the spouse survives, and to the children if the
spouse is the last to die. So the most basic form is to give the
residue and remainder to the surviving spouse if surviving; and to
the children if the spouse does not survive. The spouse is the
primary beneficiary, provided she or he survives. The children are
the contingent beneficiary if the “other” spouse did not survive.
If you or your
spouse have children from other relationships, a simple Will is
probably not applicable for your situation. Please see topic
heading: "Wills for Persons with Blended Families."
important subject to have in mind is Joint Tenancy.
If you own legal
title to a car, your home or shares of stock, for example, in joint
tenancy, the asset will pass to the surviving joint tenant outside
the will. Most people do not have joint accounts with anyone other
than their spouse, so it does not come up often. But it is vital to
understand that an asset titled in joint tenancy is going to pass to
the surviving joint tenant irrespective of your Will.
was written on 04190.
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