Friday, August 26, 2011

What Should the Last Will and Testament Include?

Apart from the sorrow that is brought about by a person's passage, sometimes there's more sorrow that follows when it comes to dealing with the assets a person leaves behind. So many siblings and families have been torn over battles to control inheritance - that is why persons with a significant amount of assets are often advised to prepare a last will and testament long before they get to their death beds.

A Last Will and Testament is a legally binding document that indicates the planning, management and distribution of a person's properties, estate and assets based on his approved instructions and specifications. Last Wills and Testaments can take on two forms that address distinct and significant roles regarding the treatment and management of a person's related funds, assets and estates.

The first, a will-based plan, usually helps a person decide on the manner of distribution of his assets by clearly enlisting the details about who gets what and under which conditions, in case of his death. This plan covers substantial points, primarily covering the selection of a Personal Executor and the scope of authority and power to be granted to the same, and the identification of the individuals or parties who will inherit the properties and assets. Terms, conditions, mode of transfer and other necessary details are also outlined in this will-based plan.

The second form is a Trust-based Plan which covers a person's Revocable Living Trust and takes care of the points outlined in the will-based plan. In this case, the equivalent of a Personal Executor is called the Administrator or Successor Trustee once the person owning the assets dies. The Revocable Living Trust is tasked to manage unfunded property of an individual, and the same individual needs to finance his assets into the trust prior to his death so the trust agreement can take effect n any further action regarding his assets after his death. In the even this has not been carried out, the last will and testament will be required to take care of the unfunded asset and channel it to the trust.

A Last Will and Testament must be designed, prepared and documented under the jurisdiction of a lawyer who can objectively guide the asset owner through the intricacies of estate distribution and the legal conditions that go along with it.

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