Probate Lawyer

  • Simple Will

A simple Will provides that all assets go to the surviving spouse at the death of the first spouse. At the death of the second spouse, all assets go equally to the surviving children and/or their issue. It allows for the appointment of guardians for the minor children and the appointment of an executor and alternate executor. It does not avoid probate nor does it address taxes. It is a device, however, commonly used for smaller estates and especially those with minor children.

When utilizing a simple Will, people should be careful of the differing situations if the spouses have children from previous marriages.

Wills may always be revoked and changed over the years.

  • Complex Will

Complex Wills usually provide various distribution schemes including tax shelters which may become more complex to administer but are often necessary.

Wills may always be revoked and changed over the years.

  • Super Will

These wills are intended to cover all assets, even those not generally subject to probate. However, intentional beneficiary designations on payable-on-death assets are critical. It is important that people designate to whom they want non-probate assets to pass properly on beneficiary designation forms. Understanding the whole estate and how non-will assets pass is part of the estate planning process. In most cases, a “super will” will not defeat the WA statute which holds beneficiary designations on retirement assets takes precedent over will designations.

  • Pour-Over Will

These wills are used to “pour” estates into a trust which is established in a separate document. They are generally used in combination with a Revocable Living Trust. They provide a safety-net which states that if an asset is unintentionally left outside of a trust, the pour-over will passes the asset into the trust.