Thy Will Be Done

It comes to us all.  No one likes thinking about it, but it is one of life’s certainties, much like taxes.  

Will your loved ones know what to do when you eventually pass on?  Probably not if you’re one of the sixty percent of Americans that don’t have a will.  Sure, no one actually wants to plan for the end of their life.  However, it’s one of the best things you can do for your loved ones and for the future of your estate. Trust and Estate planning isn’t just the remit of elder Americans.  Couples with young children should have one as well.  

A last will and testament can help ensure that not only are your children properly cared for in the event of your death but also that their financial future is taken care of.  There are, however, some questions you will need to ask yourself even when writing the simplest of wills.

Have you a straightforward family situation? The more family and loved ones you have, the more complications there can be. Estranged siblings, second marriages, or young children require specific language to counteract possible disagreements.  You can ensure that your inheritance is allocated the way you intended,  avoiding conflict and protecting your estate from creditors or former spouses.

Do you have your financial affairs in order? You will need to ensure that your assets are correctly titled.  If your net worth is taxable at death in your state of residence, or your estate is taxable, more personalized documents can be designed to save taxes, leaving more money for your heirs.

Who will be your trusted person and do they have the knowledge to implement the directions in the will?  Being an executor is not a simple job.  This is a serious commitment that comes with serious fiduciary responsibilities.  The executor of an estate does the following: investing, paying bills, tax reporting, fulfilling obligations to current and future beneficiaries, and following strict compliance requirements. For anyone lacking experience in these areas, the requirements of a trustee can be overwhelming.

Other questions to consider are:

  • Is there some personal property I want to go to a specific person?
  • What do I do want to be done with my online presence: social media, email accounts, and websites?

These are often the stumbling blocks.  The hardest part for many is facing their own death and answering the essential questions.  However, once the will is written, you carry on with your life, knowing your family and friends will have a plan in place.

We work with families to try to protect what they have accumulated from unnecessary loss. Effectively resolving issues related to real estate, income, estate, and gift taxation, as well as trust, estate, and insurance laws and regulations.  Call DuPont and Blumenstiel today to find out more about our estate planning services.


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