Some years ago, somebody somewhere proclaimed August to be ‘National Make-a-Will Month’ and here at Owens, Sneller, Pinzelik, Wood & Schaff, P.C. we think it’s a fabulous idea. Now, once a year everyone knows, or should know, that they should be looking ahead and thinking about their loved ones and their estate plan, whether or not they even have one in the first place and if it accomplishes their goals.
If you already have a will or other estate plan, we recommend that you pull it out, dust it off, and look it over at least once every three years and following any major life change (a birth or death in your family, your own marriage or divorce, or if you’ve acquired significant assets since your last will). If you’ve never thought about it before or just not gotten around to it, now is a good time to review some of our older posts, explaining why it is so important and points to consider to be sure it’s done right.
- What’s the big deal? Why you need a will.
- Don’t Step in That… Common Estate Planning Mistakes
- Don’t Step in That… Common Estate Planning Mistakes, Part 2
At Owens, Sneller, Pinzelik, Wood & Schaff, P.C. we offer simple wills for individuals, married couples, and domestic partners on a flat-fee basis. In honor of National Make-a-Will Month, for the entire month of August we’re going a step further and discounting that usual fee. All you need to do to take advantage of this opportunity is to follow these easy steps:
- Download our Confidential Estate-Planning Questionnaire
- Fill out the questionnaire as thoroughly as possible
- Return the questionnaire to our office via mail or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Someone from our office will contact you to schedule your initial consultation during the month of August
Get started now! For more information, keep reading.
What is a Simple Will?
Every attorney and every law firm has its own idea of what a Simple Will entails. Our definition of a Simple Will is as follows:
- A maximum of 8 pages
- Containing no trust provisions (though a Simple Will may include a provision invoking Oregon’s Uniform Transfer to Minors Act)
- A maximum of 2 drafts
- Includes an initial consultation, a final meeting for review, signature, and notarization of document(s), and reasonable communications in between
- FREE Power of Attorney
- FREE Advanced Directive
What does a Simple Will do?
A Simple Will can express your wishes regarding the division of your estate and disposition of your remains. A Simple Will can also express your wishes as to who should care for your minor children in the event of your death. Though the Court is not obligated to obey your wishes in this respect, it does often give great weight to them in determining what is “in the best interests of the child.”
A Simple Will can express your wishes as to who should serve as your legal guardian and/or conservator in the event you do not die but are instead significantly disabled, either by traumatic injury or age-related health concerns. Again, the Court is not obligated to obey your wishes but is required to consider them in appointing your fiduciary(ies).
What doesn’t a Simple Will do?
A Simple Will does not avoid probate, the legal process of settling your estate and dividing your money and property. A Simple Will does not attempt to minimize tax liability of the testator, the estate or the heirs or intended beneficiaries. A Simple Will does not attempt to reduce the size of the testator’s assets in order to qualify the testator for government benefits.
A Simple Will does not make you Eggs Benedict on your birthday. There are lots of things a Simple Will does not do and it is impossible to list them all here.
What if I need more than a Simple Will?
There are a number of situations in which it might beneficial, now or even later, to you or your loved ones, for you to consider a more robust estate plan such as a Revocable or Irrevocable Living Trust. We can do that, too!
For informational purposes only and not to be relied upon as legal advice.
by Brook D. Wood