In order to make sure everyone seeking a wills and trusts attorney can be informed and educated about their decisions, it sometimes pays to simplify things. Legal jargon can be extremely confusing, especially if you have rarely had to use legal services until you decided to contact an estate attorney or lawyer.
We like to use our blog to help our clients know where to start. Sometimes that can be as simple as breaking things down into basics. In this blog entry, a Davidson Law wills and trusts attorney looks at some of the most common provisions we see in wills and explains what they mean.
Sound Mind and Body
You may have heard the phrase “I, X, being of sound mind and body…” at the beginning of a will either in reality or even movies, TV, and other fiction. There is a reason for this. Every will begins with something called an “Exordium Clause”.
This provision is in place to cement the fact that the person making the will did so under their own power, and is fully aware of what is going into it. It also clarifies that this last will overrides any previous wills, and generally establishes everything contained within as the last wishes of the person making it.
Specific, General and Residual Bequests
These are the provisions that most people typically associate with the idea of a last will and testament – the ones that dictate which assets go to which beneficiaries. Any good wills and trusts attorney will advise that you make these particular provisions as specific as possible.
Non-specific provision of who is entitled to what are common causes of major arguments in the event of the death of a family member. Some relatives may feel entitled to certain assets, and if the will does not clearly specify, it can lead to serious tension and damaged relationships.
If you know who want to leave your assets to, make sure that your provisions in this part of your will are spelled out in no uncertain terms.
Related Post: Mistakes to Avoid When Preparing a Will
Naming An Executor
An important but often lesser-known provision of a will is the appointment of an executor. The executor is the person who oversees that the other provisions of the will are properly carried out.
They are also responsible for making sure debts owed by the deceased, or owed to them, are taken care of. You can also name more than one executor, should your first choice not be available – or have them work together.
Related Post: Executor Restrictions in Texas
Paying Off Existing Debts and Outstanding Tax Payments
Another common provision of a will is to provide guidelines for remaining debts and taxes that need to be paid. Putting this clearly in the text of the will means that your executor or executors will know where to start when it comes to paying off outstanding debt.
Contact a Wills and Trusts Attorney
These are just a few of the common provisions you will typically find in a will. When it comes to writing your last will and testament, there is a wide variety of options open to you. Remember that your will represents your final wishes after you are gone, and you can tailor it to suit whatever the needs of your beneficiaries are. Contact the Davidson Law Group in Fort Worth, Allen, or Tyler today, and ask us about your free consultation. Our legal professionals have helped countless clients to establish their Texas legacy.