A Simple Will is one of the most frequent topics people are interested in learning about when contacting me. My website gets lots of traffic from people searching Simple Will in Google and it is a subject many people ask about whether on the phone or during our first meeting.
I want you to know that there is nothing simple about a Simple Will. In fact, I believe the only thing simple is for the person drafting a Simple Will. A couple years ago I was involved in the administration of an estate where the family believed their departed loved one had a Simple Will. They weren’t wrong, but their expectation was vastly different than reality.
The family was surprised to learn that the probate for this Simple Will would take months at the least and could take more than a year. It took more than 14 months to fully probate the Simple Will. In addition, the family had to pay court costs, attorneys’ fees and extra appraisal costs to get everything through the court. There was nothing simple about the probate of this Simple Will.
I also want you to know that only having a Will, simple or otherwise, is not a complete estate plan. A Will only works after you have passed away and after the Will is filed with a court. A Will does nothing for you while you are alive.
A comprehensive estate plan works for and protects you and your family both while you are alive and after you have passed away. Other tools that are often included in a comprehensive estate plan are Powers of Attorney, Advance Directives, Living Trusts and instructions to caregivers of your minor children. Including these other tools in your estate plan gives you greater flexibility and allows it to protect you through your whole life.
If you’d like to learn more about this type of estate planning, give me a call 503-850-8345 to start a conversation about how you can protect yourself and your family.