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WILLS - Single Family, Adult Children
    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 original.

    A married 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."

    An extremely 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.

This page was written on 04190.

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