Drafting A Valid And Effective Will

A last will and testament is much more than simply dictating how assets should be dispersed upon your death. It can also establish a health care proxy and durable power of attorney as well as guardianship for young children and loved ones unable to care for themselves.

John Ryan, III, Attorney at Law in Salem has handled wills as well as probate and estate administration for individuals and families since opening in 1989. During your initial consultation, founding attorney Jack Ryan will listen to your goals and the needs of your family. We can then create a strategy that effectively fulfills those priorities while also filling in a few needs you might not have considered.

Important Issues In Drafting A Will

While every family is different, there are several important things for a testator to consider in drafting a will. These include:

  • Guardianship: It is important consider your children's needs when choosing this role. Even adult children may benefit from a trustee or financial planner if they are unaccustomed to managing large sums of money. A financial accommodation or support should be considered for guardians as well.

  • Power of attorney: Durable power of attorney can address anything in estate administration that is not part of a trust, including financial concerns, retirement accounts and life insurance as well as a health care proxy if you become unable to make decisions about your medical care.
  • An executor: This personal representative carries out the testator's wishes and makes sure all affairs are in order during probate. This includes paying outstanding bills, dispersing assets, notifying banks, closing credit cards, collecting outstanding debts and other legal and financial matters. A family member may not be the ideal candidate if he or she is not well-organized and comfortable with paperwork.
  • A special-needs trust or guardianship: Parents with special-needs children and adults with parents who unable to care for themselves need to make arrangements to ensure that those who depend upon them are taken care of.

It Is Always Smart To Update Your Will

The general rule of thumb is to check in with your lawyer every five years to make sure your will is up to date in regard to family and beneficiaries, as well as any changes in the tax law here in Massachusetts or federally. It is always wise to update it if there have been any major changes or milestones in your financial or family life, including retirement.

Contact Jack Ryan To Discuss Your Will Or Other Estate Planning Matters

Call our office in Salem at 978-219-2060 or use our helpful Contact page.