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The Ashmore Law Firm, P.C.
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The 10 MUST HAVE Parts of a Will

Do you know what your Will really says?

Although every Will is different, each should have the following information:

  1. Heading, Marital History, and Children

    • Heading – This section should state your full name, county of residence, and a declaration that you intend for this to be your Will.

    • Marital History – This section should state whether you are married, divorced, widowed, or in a common law marriage.

    • Children – This section should state how many children you have and if you have any adopted children or step children.

  2. Debts and Taxes

    • This provision should state exactly how debts are to be paid and which assets are used to pay them.

  3. Disposition of Assets

    • This provision is what we consider the “meat” of the Will. It should state exactly who you want to receive your assets and how your assets should be distributed.

  4. Guardianship

    • It’s important to list the guardian of the person and estate of your minor child/children. If you do not choose someone, a court will decide.

  5. Executor and Trustee

    • This provision should list the person or persons you want to manage your assets and make sure the right people receive them.

  6. Executor and Trustee Powers

    • You should always list the powers you want your Executor and Trustee to have. If you do not list these powers, the simplest of tasks, such as selling your house, will not easily be accomplished.

  7. No Contest Provision

    • In order to address the possibility of any person – whether related to you or not – attempting to oppose the provisions or probate of your Will, we include a Will Contest Provision. We consider this provision to be non-negotiable and we require it to be in every Will we prepare.

  8. General Provisions

    • These are “catchall” provisions that will vary depending on your situation. For example, a General Provision may include language stating how your estate could be impacted by a divorce.

  9. Definitions

    • This provision defines certain words and phrases in order to eliminate any potential ambiguity.

  10. Trusts

    • A Trust is optional and does not need to be included in every Will. However, if you have children under the age of 18, consider including a Minors’ Trust in your Will.

If you already have your Will, you should review it to make sure it has this information and if you need a Will, you now know what needs to be included.