Chapter 1 – About Wills
What is a Will?
Basic Components of a Will
Types of Wills
Testamentary Trust Wills
Oral Wills (also called nuncupative wills)
The Difference Between Wills and Living Wills
Do You Need a Lawyer to Make a Will?
Chapter 2 – Making a Valid Will
What is a Valid Will?
Age of Majority
Format of a Will
Signing of a Will
Having a Will Witnessed
Notarizing a Will
Chapter 3 – Wills and Intestacy
Why Everyone Needs a Will
Do I Have to Make a Will?
How Can a Will Save Me Money?
Intestacy and What Happens if You Don’t Make a Will?
Apportionment and Distribution of Assets on Intestacy
Intestacy and Same Sex Partners
Estate and Inheritance Taxes
Chapter 4 – Gifts and Beneficiaries
What is a Gift?
Specific Item Gifts
What is a Beneficiary?
Types of Beneficiaries and Hierarchy of Distribution
Specific Gift Beneficiary
Who May Not Be a Beneficiary?
Gifts to Spouses
Community Property States
Common Law States
Gifts to Minors
A Family Pot Trust
Gifts to Charities
Gifts to Witnesses
Releasing Someone from a Debt
Common Disaster and Simultaneous Death
Disinheriting Your Spouse
Disinheriting Your Child
No Contest Clauses
Challenging a Will
Reducing Challenges to a Will
Chapter 5 – Appointing Executors
What is an Executor?
Overview of Executors’ Duties
What Precisely Does an Executor Do?
Probate of an Estate
Grant of Probate
Who is Entitled to Act as an Executor?
Who Should be Your Executor?
Naming an Out-of-State Executor
Cash Reserves During Probate Administration
Chapter 6 – Guardians and Children
What is a Guardian?
Sole and Joint Guardians
Appointment of a Guardian
Who Can Be a Guardian?
Should I Appoint Guardians for My Minor Children?
Considerations When Choosing a Guardian For Your Child
What Happens When No Guardian is Named in Your Will?
Leaving an Inheritance for Children
Management of Children’s Property
What Happens Without Property Management?
Options for Property Management
Appointment of a Property Guardian
Uniform Transfer to Minors’ Act
Children’s and Family Pot Trusts
Whom Should You Choose as a Trustee?
Chapter 7 – Estate Planning
What is Estate Planning?
Last will and Testament
Revocable Living Trusts
Pay-on-Death and Transfer-on-Death Accounts
Probate Free Transfers of Assets
Reducing Taxes on Your Estate
Planning for Incapacity
Power of Attorney for Finance & Property
Advance Healthcare Directives
Healthcare Power of Attorney
Chapter 8 – Estate Taxes
Federal Estate Tax
State Death Tax
State Estate or Death Taxes: Paid by the Estate
State Inheritance Taxes : Paid by the Recipient of Property
Other Ways to Reduce Estate Taxes
Lifetime Gifts to Children and Grandchildren
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
Family Limited Partnerships
Qualified Family Owned Business (QFMOB)
Special Use Real Estate Valuation
Chapter 9 – Getting Organized and Making Your Will
Before You Start
Check Out Some Online Will Packs
Appoint One or More Executors
Appoint a Testamentary Guardian for Your Minor Children
What If You Own Property Overseas?
Execute Your Will in the Prescribed Fashion
Consider Related Documentation
Cash Reserves During Administration
Location of Will
Chapter 10 – When Do I Need to Make My Will
The Power of Now!
What Happens Next? Always one of two things!
So, When Should I Make a Will?
Chapter 11 – Changing Your Will
How to Change Your Will
Using a Codicil
How Often Should I Review My Will?
Keep Your Will Updated!
Revocation of a Will
Appendix 1 – Glossary of Terms
Appendix 2 – Estate Planning Worksheet
Appendix 3 – Sample Wills
Appendix 4 – General Instructions for Completing Your Will
Appendix 5 – Specific Instructions for Completing Your Will
Appendix 6 – Self Proving Affidavit – Type 1
Appendix 7 – Self Proving Affidavit – Type 2
Appendix 8 – Addition Clauses