2016 has seen its fair share of celebrity deaths. While some celebrities had estate plans in place, others, such as music legend Prince, died without even creating a will. They serve as an example, that no matter what your wealth, dying without an estate plan can cause many legal headaches for loved ones left behind. Today we are going to take a closer look at one type of estate planning document that many in Kansas City may want to consider: the will. What can creating a will accomplish?

First of all, a will can name someone as your personal representative, who will be the person who will do the winding up of your estate after you pass on. This includes gathering property, paying the appropriate taxes and debts and distributing your property per the terms of your will. While you can name a loved one to fulfill this role, you also have the option of naming a professional, such as an attorney, as your personal representative.

Of course, in a will, an individual can decide who he or she wants to inherit his or her property. It can be a person or a charitable organization. In addition, there is no requirement that one must treat all of one’s loved ones equally. The amount to be distributed can be either a percentage of the net estate or it can be a specific dollar amount. It’s up to you.

Wills can also contain ‘pour-over’ provisions. These are helpful if individuals also have a trust that they want to control the distribution of their assets. With a pour-over will, after the specific bequests have been distributed and taxes and debts are settled, you can direct that whatever is left to “pour over” into a trust.

As you can see, a “simple” will need not be so simple. Wills can be as simple or complex as you’d like. To learn more about creating a will in Kansas City, it can help to seek out professional assistance from an area attorney.

Source: Forbes, “Prince Didn’t Leave A Will!,” Frank Armstrong III, June 17, 2016

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