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If you are over 18 and have any assets, a will achieves many important goals:

  1. It allows you to distribute your assets as you wish without a court’s intervention. 
  2. It can reduce the complexity and cost of probate for your heirs. 
  3. If you have minor children, it can name a guardian for them and a trustee to manage their finances.
  4. It names an executor to handle your estate for you. 
  5. If your estate is large enough, it can minimize the effect of estate and inheritance taxes. 

In preparing a will, the first thing you should think about is to who you will want to leave your property, and if that devisee or devisees should die before you, then who else. Next, you will want to consider who will be the person responsible for making sure your wishes in the will are carried out. This person is called the Executor, and a back-up Executor should also be considered. 

If you have minor children, you will need to determine who their Guardian will be in the event both you and your spouse are both deceased. If you have minor children or young adult children who may not be ready to properly manage their finances, you can establish a trust in your will to allow a person to manage those assets until the children reach the predetermined age. This person is called a Trustee. 


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