Common Items Included in a Will
If you are unfamiliar the estate planning process and the creation of a last will and testament, you might get a little lost when reading a will or attempting to determine what you need to put into your own estate planning documents.
To help you better understand the structure of a will, below are some common sections you should consider including:
- Personal declarations: Many wills begin with a personal declaration that includes names of the will maker’s closest family members and other basic information that establishes what is to follow in the rest of the document.
- Personal representative: The personal representative will typically be named near the end of the will. This section will also list any alternates chosen for the role.
- Specific gifts: Wills often include specific items the testator would like to leave behind to his or her beneficiaries. However, there are also many wills that do not contain any specific gifts. They either leave everything to a single person or split up the estate among multiple people to share equally.
- Conditional gifts: In some circumstances, individuals choose to leave behind property subject to some conditions, such as graduation from a four-year university.
- General gifts: Gifts of specific amounts of money are considered general bequests.
- Residuary gifts: Gifts of the residuary estate are those in which the will directs who receives whatever is left of the estate after other specific or general gifts are made.
- Guardians: Parents of minor children may name personal guardians for the children in the event of both parents’ untimely death.
- Trusts: Wills often contain clauses establishing trusts that take effect upon the death of the will’s creator
These are just a few examples of the common clauses and sections you may find in a will. However, you can customize your will based on your personal circumstances and wishes. To learn more about this process, meet with a skilled Tampa estate planning lawyer at BaumannKangas Estate Law.