What is a Last Will and Testament?

A man sitting next to an older woman helping her fill out paperwork

Preparing for the Future

A last will and testament, sometimes simply referred to as a will, is a document that allows you to determine asset distribution after your passing. This document can ensure that your loved ones are taken care of after you're gone. In this blog, we'll discuss what a last will and testament is, what it can do for you, and how to name beneficiaries of your estate.

What a Last Will and Testament Does

A will is a document that outlines what happens to your assets after you pass. This document can be used to:

  • designate a guardian for your minor children

  • designate who will receive your property

  • name an executor of your estate (the person responsible for carrying out your wishes)

  • make arrangements for the care of any pets you may have

While a last will and testament is not required by law, it can be a good idea to create one if you want to ensure that your wishes are carried out after you're gone. Dying without a will means your assets will be distributed according to state law, which may not align with what you would have wanted.

Creating a will is a relatively simple process. You'll need a lawyer specializing in estate planning to help you draft the document and ensure that it meets all legal requirements. Once the document is prepared, you'll need to sign it before two witnesses. It's important to note that your witnesses cannot be beneficiaries of your estate.

Naming Beneficiaries in Your Last Will and Testament

One of the most important aspects of a last will and testament is naming beneficiaries for your assets. A beneficiary is someone who inherits your assets when you pass. When you name a beneficiary, you'll need to specify what assets they will inherit and how they should be distributed. For example, you may determine that your beneficiary will inherit your house, or you may set up a trust to hold your assets for them.

It's essential to choose your beneficiaries carefully. You'll want to name someone you trust to distribute your assets in the way you intended. In addition, consider what would happen if your beneficiaries predecease you. In this case, you'll need to name an alternate beneficiary who will inherit your assets in their place.

Work With an Estate Planning Attorney

A will can be a helpful tool for estate planning. It can give you peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of after you're gone. If you're considering creating a last will and testament, contact the team at Law Offices Of Mark M. Childress for assistance. We can help you plan your estate and give your family the best future.


Learn more or schedule a consultation by calling (817) 497-8148 or visiting our website.

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