We are sometimes contacted by clients
who indicate that they believe that their estate is so small that they just need a "simple will." Because they believe
that they need a "simple will," they also assume that the legal
expenses associated with the preparation of such a will should
also be correspondingly simple. There are a number of issues which
often make the preparation of a will the most critical planning
tool that clients can utilize.
The task of assessing the family
assets, the planning that should be done in connection with the
disposition of those assets upon death and even the planning that
can be done prior to death make the task of preparing a will no
easier simply because an estate of a person is "small".
In assisting our clients in
preparing a will we help them evaluate the consequences of that estate planning tool versus others that
may be available, for example, powers of attorney for asset
management or advance health care directives. Additionally, we counsel regarding what will happen if the client is disabled and unable to handle financial matters, as an executor of a will can only act after the clients death and upon appointment by the court. (See these practice
areas for more information).