Wills and Codicils
Regardless of whether you’re single, married, or have kids, chances are you care about what happens to your assets after you pass away. Deciding how you want your estate to be distributed is an important topic to address while you’re still here and capable of making sound deciions for yourself. A will is the simplest way to protect and provide for your family after you’re gone. Having a will ensures that your loved ones will be taken care of according to your wishes when you’re no longer able to make your intentions known.
Wills are about so much more than just money – they’re a way to provide for your family’s emotional and physical wellbeing, while also securing your own peace of mind. At The Ledbetter Law Firm, APC, we understand that everyone has different needs and intentions, and we’re here to help you draft a will that fits with your unique circumstances.
Protecting Your Legacy
Your situation isn’t the same as anyone else’s, and your will shouldn’t be either. Too many people mistakenly choose to rely on form documents that try to shoehorn every situation into the same one-size-fits-all will. It simply doesn’t work that way. Some people might be fine with straightforward distributions of property, while others may want more complex estate planning like trusts and charitable gifts.
A dynamic will can address all of these financial arrangements, but it’s also your chance to make your wishes known on a number of other important issues. Some of the most crucial topics wills cover include:
- Guardianship of minor children in the event that no parent is available;
- The appointment of an executor or personal representative who will see that your wishes are carried out;
- Distribution of personal and sentimental assets that may be the source of disputes;
- Covering funeral, burial, cremation, and other arrangements so your loved ones don’t have to think about it in their time of grief;
- Payment of any existing debts.
Of course, these are just a few of the things you can address in your will. This is your chance to make your wishes known, and your will should cover whatever you consider to be important. We appreciate that addressing one’s own death is never pleasant, and we’re here to help make the process go as smoothly and painlessly as possible.
Updating Your Intentions
It’s tempting to write your will and then never think about estate planning again, but that would be a mistake. Life is full of changes, both expected and unexpected, and it’s important to update your will to reflect those changes.
If you want to change an aspect of your will, you can, of course, formally revise it and execute a new one, but that’s not always necessary. Many people opt instead to use what is called a codicil. A codicil is a separate legal document that serves to update, modify, or change part or all of your existing will. When it comes time to distribute your estate, a codicil is treated as part of your will.
Any life change can inspire a will update, some of the most common being marriages, children, and divorces. You may also want to make alterations if you have unexpected changes in your health or financial situation. We can help you determine which approach to updating your intentions makes the most sense in your situation, and ensure that your wishes are current and up-to-date at all times.
The Ledbetter Law Firm, APC is devoted to helping individuals and families provide for their loved ones and plan for their futures through all aspects of estate planning. Contact The Ledbetter Law Firm, APC today if you have questions about creating or revising a will.
What Our Clients Say
“Tom was able to take the complex and daunting task of putting together an estate plan and made it much simpler by asking the right questions, focusing on what really mattered, and getting it documented the right way. His down to earth nature, ability to explain things in non-lawyer terms and his deep estate planning expertise made him an excellent fit for our family and estate planning needs.”
“I hired Tom Ledbetter to represent my company in a contentious contract dispute. One of his main strengths was communicating to me the various procedures and legal strategies throughout the litigation. His exceptional advocacy and knowledge are why I recommend him. Tom now represents my company in drafting and negotiation all of our contracts.”