Last Will and Testament
When you are planning for your family’s future, a last will and testament is central to the estate planning process. A will directs how your assets and property will be handled after your death, and can designate guardians for children and other dependents. Giving careful thought to creating your will can help you steer your estate plan and provide stability for your family after you are gone.
At Lawrence & Jurkiewicz, LLC, we have substantial experience preparing wills and estate plans for individuals, couples, and families throughout the greater Hartford area and the Litchfield County area. Our estate planning lawyers can help you consider your options and make the tough and often emotional decisions needed to create a healthy estate plan that honors your wishes and accomplishes your goals for your end of life care and subsequent estate.
What is Included in a Last Will and Testament?
Your will, also known as a last will and testament, sits at the center of most estate plans. Even complex estates that make use of living trusts and other asset preservation strategies still include a will to make certain the deceased’s wishes are honored. A will acts as an instruction manual about how you want your assets distributed, and who you want in charge of those difficult decisions. Even a simple will should include:
- Designate an executor to oversee the payment of your final debts, inventorying of your assets, and distribution of your assets.
- Explain how you want your assets distributed and to whom (your beneficiaries) after your death.
- Name a guardian for any minor children or dependents to oversee their care until they come of age.
- Designate a trustee to handle your children’s financial affairs and a custodian to handle their inheritances under the Uniform Gift to Minors Act.
Depending on your individual circumstances, such as your assets and financial goals for your family, your will might include charitable contributions to causes or religious institutions you believe in. It can also distribute corporate shares or business interests, to make certain that the family business is passed on to the next generation.
Should Your Estate Plan Include a Power of Attorney or Living Will?
A will is an essential part of an estate plan, but it only covers one of the two purposes of estate planning. The will controls what happens after you die, but you also need documents to describe how you want to be treated, and how you want your financial affairs managed, during your final illness or any period of medical incapacity.
A power of attorney authorizes someone you trust to conduct business on your behalf. It can make your life more convenient by allowing a loved one or professional finance manager to:
- Go to the bank for you
- Pay your bills while you are traveling
- Pay for medical care and retirement housing after you are unable to handle your own finances.
A living will, health care directive, and power of attorney for health care can help you direct how you want to be cared for in your end-of-life medical decisions. These documents allow you to identify a relative or close friend to make medical decisions for you when you can’t. The living will then gives that person guidance about key healthcare decisions such as resuscitation and life-saving treatments, to guide their choices when you are no longer able to express your own desires for your care.
Both a power of attorney and a living will are included, together with a last will and testament, in our basic will package. Together, they comprise a “continuum” that can give peace of mind.
Connecticut Attorney for Will Preparation
Wills, living wills, and other estate planning documents make certain that your care and personal affairs are handled smoothly in your everyday affairs, as well as your final days and after you pass away. Doing the work now to plan for your and your family’s future can save everyone trouble and provide you peace of mind. Please call us at (860) 264-1551 or contact us at your convenience to discuss your estate plan and prepare your last will and testament. The estate planning attorneys at Lawrence & Jurkiewicz, LLC represent clients in Hartford and Litchfield Counties.
You may also be interested in this blog:
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers About Connecticut Wills, “Will Packages”, Revocable Living Trusts, and Probate