Wills and Probate

 

Simple Wills for Husband and Wife

Simple complementary Wills for a Husband and Wife will ordinarily provide that the Husband leaves everything to the Wife and the Wife leaves everything to the Husband except in the event of a common disaster or one predeceases the other, in which event everything goes to the children, share and share alike, or other persons as you may designate. For purposes of a simple Will, we presume that this is your intent.

Appointment of Executor

You need to appoint an Executor, i.e., the person that will be in charge of the affairs of your estate. The first choice will be each spouse. Beyond that, you need to appoint a person or persons in the event of a common disaster or when the widow(er) dies.

Appointment of Guardian

In the case of minor children, there are several other issues which need to be addressed, to take effect in the event of a common disaster or when the widow(er) dies. Since minor children (usually under the age of 18, with exceptions) cannot own property, a Guardian of the Property needs to be appointed in the Will. Similarly, you will want to appoint people you trust to have custody of your children. This is referred to as the Guardian of the Person of the child or children. Although in a court proceeding the court makes the final decision based on the best interests of the children, the parents' wishes expressed in a Will carry much weight. Ordinarily, you would name the same person or persons to be Guardians of the Property and Guardians of the Persons of your children. They may, however, be different persons.

Trustee of the Trust for Children

Again, when minors are involved, a Trust is created within the Will which holds the portion given to the minor child. A Trustee is named to manage the assets of the Trust for the benefit of the minor child or children and will usually pay the interest generated by the Trust to the Guardian of the Property of the child, or to the child when old enough. The Trustee is also given the power to invade the principal for the health, welfare and education of the child. Usually the Trustee is given broad discretionary powers and is instructed in the Will to distribute the child's portion of the principal of the Trust when the child attains a specified age. In our experience, most people choose an age between 21 and 30 as the age when the Trustee will distribute the principal to the child. In some cases it is done in two or three stages. For example, 1/3 at age 23, 1/3 at age 26, 1/3 at age 29. Please specify for us the age or ages which you would like to have the principal distributed to each child. The Trustee or Trustees may be different from the Guardians of the Property and the Person, or they may all be the same person or persons.
The various appointments (Executor, Trustee, Guardian of the Property and Guardian of the Person) are referred to as fiduciaries. It is customary to also appoint a contingent fiduciary in the event the person or persons you name predecease you or are otherwise unable to act, for whatever reason, in the capacity which you have chosen for that person.

Call our offices today at (315) 451-2383 for an appointment to set up your Simple Wills.

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Office Location

7515 Morgan Road

Liverpool, New York 13090

Phone: (315) 451-2383

Fax: (315) 451-4106

Driving Directions

Email: jp@darrigolaw.com

 

Wills & Estates

 

 

 
         
 

7515 Morgan Road

Liverpool, New York 13090

Phone: (315) 451-2383

Fax: (315) 451-4106

Email: jp@darrigolaw.com

Syracuse, Liverpool New York Law Firm

The attorneys of D'Arrigo & Cote advise clients about Divorce, Landlord/Tenant, Wills and Estates, Real Estate, Vehicle & Traffic Law, Municipal Law, Business and Contract law, Litigation, and Personal Injury matters from offices in Liverpool, New York. The firm serves the needs of individuals and businesses in the Greater Syracuse area and central New York including Onondaga County, Cayuga County, Oswego County, and Oneida County.

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