Exploring the Different Types of Wills

Estate planning is an essential, but often neglected, part of life. Without a valid Will, you will have no control over how your assets are distributed after your death and it could result in a costly and divisive legal dispute for your family. As the local lawyers Vermont knows and trusts, Robert Wood and Associates are here to help with all legal matters relating to Wills, probate, and estate planning. You may not be aware that there are several different types of Wills, so it’s important the type of Will you choose suits your personal situation best.

Simple Wills

Conventional, and relatively straightforward, a simple Will is ideally suited for people without complicated family dynamics and for those who own a narrow range of assets. Simple Wills do not include complex clauses to account for large estates or blended families. Typically, a simple Will includes an executor, the beneficiaries of the estate, guardians for children and desired funeral arrangements. The entire estate is usually passed on to the spouse or, if the spouse passes away before the Will-maker, their children. A simple Will also allows you to bequeath (gift) specific assets or finances to another person who is not main beneficiary of the estate.

Mutual Wills

Mutual Wills are an agreement between a couple, generally spouses, to make an estate Will on the same binding terms. These Wills come with a contract that states that each partner is legally bound not to change the terms of their respective Wills without each other’s consent. When one of the couple dies, the surviving spouse will be bound by the provisions to the beneficiaries according to the wishes laid out in each Will. These Wills are often used by couples who seek to ensure that their estate passes to their children even if the surviving spouse remarries.

Testamentary Trust Wills

A more complex type of Will, Testamentary Trust Wills establish a separate trust or trusts which only come into existence upon the death of the Will-maker. The estate’s assets fall into the Testamentary Trust instead of going outright to the beneficiaries. Although it is the beneficiaries who receive the benefit, the Trustee has full control over the assets and how they are distributed.

This type of Will is useful for those who want to leave specific instructions for who will receive assets and when they will receive them, as well for those who wish to provide a benefit to family members that face financial difficulties or lack the ability to properly manage their affairs. Testamentary Trusts may also offer some tax benefits for beneficiaries.

Before deciding on a Testamentary Trust Will, seek professional advice from an experienced lawyer. Ringwood and locals in surrounding suburbs should get in touch with us today.

Statutory Wills

A Statutory Will isn’t made by an individual, instead it is made by the Court in circumstances where a person is not legally capable of creating their own Will due to illness, or physical or mental disabilities. This type of Will is important when an impaired person owns high value assets or stands to inherit such assets in the future. A judge will consider presented evidence and stipulate orders which they believe resembles a Will the person would most likely have made for themselves if they were able to.

For a Specialist Wills & Probate or Estate Dispute Lawyer, Melbourne Relies on Us

If you need a Will dispute lawyer, Melbourne’s Robert Wood and Associates is here to help. As highly skilled and experienced solicitors servicing clients in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs, we are here to provide sensible and practical advice in relation to Wills and probate and all other matters related to estate law, including Will disputes. Contact us online now or give our friendly team a call today on (03) 9762 3877.

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