Creating a Will is the best way a person has of providing for others after their death. You may think that you do not have enough money or personal property but stop and add up the value of your house, car, savings, insurance policies - the total is probably more than you realize.
A Will is important for anyone with a family or other dependants, especially if you are a separated or unmarried parent.
A Will enables you to be sure that the people to whom you give your property receive it promptly and in a manner which will render your estate liable to no, or relatively little, additional tax. Capital gains tax liabilities may be postponed rather than provoked by appropriate provisions in your will.
A Will allows you to choose your executor, that is, the person who will manage and distribute your property.
Leaving no Will creates yet another worry for your family at the time of bereavement. Making a Will is a way of making life easier for them.
Additional Resources - Wills
Estate and Trust
- Estates and Trust - Wikipedia
The law of trusts and estates is generally considered the body of law which governs the management of personal affairs and the disposition of property of an individual in anticipation of the event of such person's incapacity or death, also known as the law of successions in civil law. Its techniques are also used to fulfil the wishes of philanthropic bequests or gifts through the creation, maintenance and supervision of charitable trusts. In some jurisdictions, such as the United States, it overlaps with the area that has come to be known as elder law that deals not only with estate planning but other issues that face the elderly, such as home care, long term care insurance or social security or disability benefits.
- Estates and trusts
Generally, a trust is a right in property (real or personal) which is held in a fiduciary relationship by one party for the benefit of another. The trustee is the one who holds title to the trust property, and the beneficiary is the person who receives the benefits of the trust.
- Estates Planning FAQs
The American Bar Association answers frequently asked questions on Estates and Trusts.
- Trust Law - Wikipedia
In common law legal systems, a trust is an arrangement whereby money or property is managed by one person (or persons, or organizations) for the benefit of another but is owned by the 'Trust'. A trust is created by a settlor, who entrusts some or all of his or her property to people of his choice (the trustees). The trustees are the legal owners of the trust property (or trust corpus), but they are obliged to hold the property for the benefit of one or more individuals or organizations (the beneficiary, a.k.a. cestui que use or cestui que trust), usually specified by the settlor. The trustees owe a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries, who are the "beneficial" owners of the trust property.
- Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog
Estate and Trust Law
- Crash Course In Wills and Trust
This course is a concise and practical guide to what everyone should know about the law of Wills and Trusts - as well as a range of other matters - before an estate plan is designed. It began as an outline for an “adult ed” class at the local community college, and is based on real questions, concerns and issues encountered over many years, among people at all economic levels, from modest to quite substantial. Wills and Trusts are just tools in the larger process of "estate planning.”
- Estate Tax - Wex
One of the oldest and most common forms of taxation is the taxation of property held by an individual at the time of their death. Such a tax can take the form, among others, of estate tax (a tax levied on the estate before any transfers). An estate tax is a charge upon the decedent's entire estate, regardless of how it is disbursed. An alternative form of death tax is an inheritance tax (a tax levied on individuals receiving property from the estate). Taxes imposed upon death provide incentive to transfer assets before death.
- Gift and Estate Resources for Professionals.
Case studies, workshops and professional planned giving resources.
- Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law - ABA
The Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section is a leading national forum for lawyers, and currently has over 30,000 members. The Real Property Division focuses on legal aspects of property use, ownership, development, transfer, regulation, financing, taxation and disposal. The Trust and Estate Division focuses on all aspects of trusts, estate planning, employee benefits, insurance, and probate and trust litigation.
- Tax Law Changes for Gifts and Estates and Trusts
IRS information on Estates and Trusts.
- U.S. State Statutes for Probate
Links to all of the States Statutes.
- What is Estate Planning - ABA
What Happens if You Die Without A Will? What A Will Does? What A Will Does Not Do? How To Execute a Will?